Former congressman Manuel Avila was arrested for alleged ties to paramilitary groups, newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday.
Avila is one of a long succession of current and former congressmen arrested for alleged ties to now-demobilized paramilitary leader Freddy Rendon Herrera, aka “El Aleman” who headed the Elmer Cardenas bloc of the AUC.
Avila is accused of forming an alliance with Herrera in order to ensure economic and political control of the region.
After congressman Ruben Dario Quintero was convicted for ties to the paramilitary group, the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of former legislators Jesus Enrique Doval, Etanislao Ortiz, Cesar Andrade and Manuel Dario Avila for their involvement with the Elmer Cardenas bloc.
Over 80 sitting and past congressmen have been arrested for their involvement in the “parapolitics” scandal, which revealed politicians’ collusion with paramilitary groups accused of killing tens of thousands of civilians and controlling a significant portion of the cocaine trade.
The scandal began in 2006 with the arrests of three congressmen, and is ongoing.