Colombia’s U Party on Wednesday suspended one of its senators who has been arrested on charges of money laundering and real estate fraud.
The Supreme Court accused Sen. Dilian Francisca Toro of buying several houses from high-ranking members of the now-defunct Cali cartel in 2005. It is also investigating whether Toro collaborated with the former leader of the Cali cartel to launder $2.8 million in drug money.
Juan Lozano, president of the liberal-conservative U Party, expressed sympathy for Toro, but said party regulations required that he suspend the senator indefinitely.
Authorities placed Toro under house arrest Tuesday and later ordered that she be moved to a Bogota prison. Lozano said he expected a ruling from the high court determining how Toro’s case will be handled within the National Council of Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.
This is the second time that Toro has been investigated for alleged ties to drug trafficking networks. The first came in 2008, when she was accused of fostering links with criminal groups to bolster her 2002 election campaign.