Colombia’s Supreme Court sentenced former congressman Mario Salomon Nader to seven and a half years in prison for his ties to paramilitary group the AUC.
Nader was found responsible for receiving political and electoral benefits from the Elmer Cardenas Bloc of the AUC, securing his 2002 election to congress.
Testimony indicated that Nader also met with former high-ranking AUC members Salvatore Mancuso and Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, alias “Jorge 40,” to sign an agreement known as the “Mariscos” pact which aimed to fill congressional seats with the support of the paramilitary group. The pact involved politicians in the departments of Choco, Antioquia and Cordoba.
Colombia’s prosecutor general requested the Supreme Court acquit Nader of the charges on April 9 for lack of evidence, calling his pact with the AUC “fictitious.”
Nader, who was arrested in September 2010, is currently being held in Bogota‘s Picota jail.
Dozens of Colombian politicians have been convicted for for their ties to the now-demobilized AUC. The massive infiltration of the drug-trafficking organization into the coalition of former President Alvaro Uribe has popularly become known as the “parapolitics” scandal.