Colombian senator banned for 20 years over paramilitary ties

A former Colombian senator was banned from holding public office for 20 years on Wednesday because of his association with paramilitaries.

Colombia’s Inspector General, Alejandro Ordoñez Maldonado, dismissed ex-Senator Luis Alberto Gil Castillo for using his ties with the now-demobilized paramilitary group AUC to win an election.

“The alliances mentioned by the former senator cannot explain the growth of his electoral volume without the support of the AUC,” Ordoñez explained.

The inspector general also revealed that Gil Castillo had a personal relationship with the leader of the Central Bolivar Block of the AUC, Ivan Roberto Duque Gaviria, and used his alliance to gain entry into public office.

There is abundant evidence that concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that Gil Castillo promoted and sponsored armed groups operating outside the law, according to Ordoñez.

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