Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office announced that Congresswoman Eleonora Maria Pineda Arcia will be dismissed and banned from working in the public sector for 20 years due to her links with paramilitary groups, reported Colombian media.
Pineda, a representative for the Cordoba department, was dismissed after an investigation found her guilty of employing paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso to support her Congress campaign.
Mancuso made the accusation in a statement to the Inspector General’s Office in 2007. The paramilitary leader said that the election of Pineda was due to the support she received from paramilitary groups, and that the “legislative power of the state was given to the illegal organization.”
According to a report by CM&, Mancuso’s accusations were backed by another member of the paramilitary group, who said, “her election was forced upon the voters, members of the AUC told the civilian population to vote for the convicted woman, who was known as ‘The Madam.'”
The prosecutor in the case against Pineda ruled that the former congresswoman had committed a serious offense by employing illegal armed groups to help her gain power.