Two former congressmen on trial for parapolitics

Two former congress representatives for the northern Colombian department of Choco, Edgar Ulises Torres and Odin Sanchez Montes de Oca, were on Wednesday called to trial by the Supreme Court for suspected ties with the paramilitary, reported Colombian media.

According to the Supreme Court, sufficient evidence has been collected to try the two men, who were arrested in August 2009 for allegedly having ties with the Elmer Cardenas bloc of paramilitary group the AUC.

The officials are two of the 23 government representatives implicated in dealing with paramilitary groups by former paramilitary leader Freddy Rendon Herrera, alias “El Aleman,” who gave testimony to Colombia’s Justice and Peace tribunal. His evidence was part of his demobilization under Colombia’s Justice and Peace process, in which former paramilitaries are given reduced sentences in exchange for collaborating with justice.

Torres and Sanchez are currently being held in Bogota’s La Picota jail and are expected to face trial shortly.

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