Colombia’s anti-corruption czar Oscar Ortiz Monday called for more
measures to prevent parapolitics-like corruption scandals in the 2010
“Let it not be money or bullets that choose the members of Congress,” the official said, claiming that the “paramilitary ghost” is still latently present.
According to Ortiz, the country must take the “lessons learned” in past elections into account and understand that the democracy must be protected from interference by armed groups.
The anti-corruption czar called for preventive measures that will make it more difficult for armed group to influence what people vote “so it is not money or bullets, but the people who ultimately make up Congress”.
After the demobilization of the AUC in 2006 and 2007, the presence of widespread corruption in earlier elections came to light, thus far resulting in some 70 lawmakers being sent to jail. This “parapolitics” scandal showed how politicians made deals with illegal armed groups to intimidate large parts of the population to vote them into Congress.