Authorities in the southwest of Colombia have arrested 14 suspected FARC aides, local media reported Saturday. Among the suspects are two government officials.
According to national authorities, the suspects have been collaborating with the FARC’s 6th Front, which is active in teh Cauca department.
The two arrested officials are the government secretary and the culture secretary of the Cauca municipality of Guachené. The officials face charges of conspiracy, arms trafficking and rebellion.
The town’s mayor, Francisco Jose Paz, rejected the arrest and told radio station La FM “there is a frontal attack against the administration. They try to accuse us of being allies of several illegal armed groups, while we are neither guerrillas nor paramilitaries. The only truth is that we serve the State. We are ready to defend ourselves against slander and defamation.”
Over the past six years, hundreds of politicians, members of the military and public servants have been implicated in links to illegal armed groups, primarily the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC.