Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office is currently investigating 12 former mayors, councilmen and deputies from the country’s central Magdalena valley who signed the “Chivolo” and “Pivijay” pacts with paramilitary organization AUC.
Dario Ceballos, an attorney defending the interests of six council members in the Magdalena valley has found no evidence linking his clients to these allegations.
“It’s a shoddy list, with blots, in which there are four or five names with the same font,” he said, stating that his clients came to power before paramilitary presence in these regions. Ceballos believes his clients were misled and pressured to support the AUC.
In the Chivolo Pact, which was signed by more than 400 leaders in the village of La Estrella on September 28, 2000, local leaders aligned with extradited paramilitary leader Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, alias “Jorge 40” in order to receive his electoral “blessing.”
In the Pivijay Pact, another group of politicians joined forces with Jorge 40 in order to receive support and votes for the 2002 congressional campaigns of Jose Gamarra, Dieb Maloof, Jorge Castro and Gustavo Orozco. The pact was signed in the municipality of Pivijay, Magdalena department on November 22, 2001.
On Monday authorities captured 11 other politicians of at least 60 accused of having signed agreements with the paramilitary group.
Since 2006, hundreds of politicians have been sentenced for making deals with the AUC, which was determined a terrorist organization by the U.S. until its official demobilization between 2003 and 2006.