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United States Blacklist on Drug Trafficking in Colombia: Shocking Revelations and Infamous Names Unveiled

The National Security Archives (NSA), an NGO focused on declassifying United States documents, recently published new information regarding a famous “black list” presented to Colombian President Alfonso López Michelsen in July 1977. This list identified corrupt officials with potential ties to drug trafficking.

According to the NSA, the list was compiled by the administration of former US President Jimmy Carter with the aim of exerting influence over the López Michelsen government to further US interests in the fight against drugs.

The CIA conducted a briefing with President López where a file of US intelligence and law enforcement information linking high-level Colombian officials with drug trafficking was presented. The most serious accusations were later broadcast on the CBS program 60 Minutes in April 1978.

Key officials named in the document include the then Minister of Defense, General Abraham Varón Valencia; Minister of Labor, Óscar Montoya Montoya, and Colonel Humberto Cardona Orozco, who was head of Indumil.

The list, for the first time, revealed the names of three dozen officials from that time. Documents written in Carter’s handwriting with annotations to a memo from his narcotics advisor, Peter Bourne, highlighted the seriousness of the accusations against Colombian officials.

One memo dated June 2, 1977, listed compromised officials with comments on each. For instance, Julio César Turbay was allegedly involved in cocaine trafficking. His nephew, Aníbal Turbay Bernal, was linked to drug traffickers who believed they could influence law enforcement if Julio César Turbay became president.

Other highlighted officials in the report include General Abraham Varón Valencia, who received bribes for narcotics and smuggling, and Minister of Labor, Óscar Montoya Montoya, who discussed drug trafficking with a known trafficker.

Colonel Humberto Cardona Orozco, the head of Indumil, was in a position that could lead to corruption related to narcotics, as per the intelligence report.

Further documents suggest the involvement of other Colombian officials, including Captain Harold Lozano Jaramillo and General Henry García Bohórquez, in facilitating drug trafficking activities.

A declassified State Department memo also mentions possible involvement in drug trafficking by Alfonso López Caballero, the son of President López. Rosalynn Carter, the wife of President Jimmy Carter, visited Colombia to discuss drug-related corruption with López.

The NSA also reveals documents detailing Rosalynn Carter’s visit and the urgency of addressing drug-related corruption in the Colombian government to improve counter-narcotics cooperation between the US and Colombia.

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