A look into: The Lord of the Shadows, a non-authorized biography of Alvaro Uribe Velez

By Nathaly Duran

This book co-written by Joseph Contreras, regional editor for Newsweek, Latin America, and Fernado Garavito, a Colombian journalist forced to leave his country as result of constant death threats, draws connections between then presidential candidate Alvaro Uribe Velez and Colombia’s Drug Cartels and Paramilitary Groups.

This “non-authorized biography” is written with one solely purpose, to alert the country about the narco-paramilitary past of Alvaro Uribe Velez. In the first paragraph of the book the reader is taken back in time to 1981, the year in which Alvaro Uribe Velez was appointed Director of Aeronautica Civil. Aeronautica is the government agency responsible for granting permits to fly in and out of the country. Previously to Alvaro Uribe Velez the Director of Aeronautica Civil was his father Fernando Uribe Senior, who was killed twenty days after taking office, followed by the assassination of Colonel Osiris de J. Maldonado ,COO of Aeronautica, both crimes were attributed to the Mafia. Alvaro Uribe Velez remained in office 28 months without suffering any damages.

According to the book, during Uribe Velez’s time in office at Aeronautica, the agency granted flight permits to Colombia’s most famous drug cartel leaders , inlcuding: Jaime Cardona, Carlos Lehder, Pablo Escobar, and Jorge Ochoa, all of them identified by the U.S. authorities as leader of the drug cartels. A year after Alvaro Uribe’s retirement from Aeronautica, the Minister of Justice and the National Drug Council ordered Aeronautica the suspension of all flights of air-crafts that belonged to drug traffickers. The lists added up a total of 57 air-crafts, among these were 12 helicopters, 26 planes, and 4 airplanes.

The book addresses that during the mid 1990’s Alvaro Uribe promoted the creation of the group “Convivir”, which later became what is currently know as the Paramilitary Groups. In later chapters it is mentioned that in a 1991 document, declassified as secret by the U.S. National Security Archive of the Department of Defense, Alvaro Uribe is number 82 in list of most dangerous drug personalities in the U.S.

It is obvious that the agenda of the authors of this book is to show Alvaro Uribe’s darkest side and to link him to the corrupt world of drug trafficking, but it should be mentioned that the whole book is told by citing newspapers reports, classified documents, and popular known facts.

Contreras, Joseph and Garavito, Fernando. (2002). “El Señor de las Sombras, Biografia no autorizada de Alvaro Uribe Velez.” Retrieved February 20, 2011 from the Fazendomedia website:

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Nathaly,

    Please check punctuation. You wrote latin America; must be: Latin America.

    Good report.

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