A former Colombian governor and presidential hopeful will face trial in Colombia’s Supreme Court to ascertain whether he had ties with paramilitary groups.
In August 2013, former Antioquia governor and then-primary candidate for the Democratic Center party, Luis Alfredo Ramos, was arrested for the Supreme Court to investigate his suspected conspiracy with former members of the now-demobilized paramilitary organisation AUC.
The decision to go to trial comes after the Supreme Court formally closed the investigation stage of Ramos’ role in the ‘parapolitics’ proceedings in late March, according to Colombian newspaper El Pais.
FACT SHEET: Parapolitics
The initial accusations against Ramos came from two former paramilitaries – Freddy Rendón Herrera, or “El Aleman,” and Juan Carlos Sierra, also known as “El Tuso.” The two men have claimed that Ramos met with paramilitary members of AUC in January 2005 when Ramos was a senator.
The later-governor of Antioquia insists however that his meeting, which was conducted with the paramilitary boss “Ernesto Baez,” was regarding the demobilization of paramilitary troops.
When pressed on the matter, Ramos acknowledged that he met with Baez because the paramilitary was a spokesman for the demobilized “showed concern for the future of the demobilized, who submitted to the Law of Justice and Peace for the reintegration promoted by the government of Alvaro Uribe.”
Despite admitting to the meeting, Ramos is “adamant in denying any links with right-wing criminal organizations that for years have committed murders, disappearances and massacres.”