Colombia’s Supreme Court has opened preliminary investigations against eight former congressmen accused of ties to paramilitary death squads and crimes against humanity.
Dief Maloof, Luis Eduardo Vives, Alfonso Campo, Saloman Saade, Jorge Luis Caballero, Mauricio Pimiento, Jorge Castre Pacheco and Cesar Perez Garcia are all accused of negotiations with paramilitary figures. Cesar Perez Garcia is also under investigation for his part in a 1988 massacre in Segovia, Antioquia when a group of paramilitaries assasinated 43 people and injured another 45.
The Tribunal intends to appeal to Colombian law forcing politicians who benefit from illicit negotiations to answer for the crimes committed by the illegal groups. In the case of all those named, this amounts to crimes against humanity.
Since 2006 Colombia has witnessed parapolitical activity become endemic to public life. President Alvaro Uribe‘s cousin, Mario Uribe is currently standing trial after his arrest in February for collaborating with two commanders from the far-right terrorist group, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).
Uribe founded the Colombia Democratic party along with his cousin, which to date has seen six of its elected congressmen investigated for paramilitary ties.
Earlier this month in the eastern department of Casanare, a former deputy and brother of the local mayor, Milton Alvarez, was accused of illicit negotiations with paramilitary boss Miguel Leguizamon, known as “El Boyaco.” Former paramilitary Gustavo Ramirez, alias “El Tabano,” has accused all politicians in the region of parapolitical negotiations.