The criminal investigation of a disgraced ex-governor from northeastern Colombia has been moved to Bogota, following a request from Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office.
Following the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the trial of Juan Francisco “Kiko” Gomez has been moved from Riohacha, La Guajira, to Bogota for fear of a lack of judicial transparency in local courts, according to local newspaper El Pais Vallenato.
Gomez was stripped of his governorship over La Guajira, Colombia’s most northeastern state, and imprisoned in October 2013, pending trial.
Gomez is under investigation for his alleged ties to criminal groups, trafficking, manufacture and possession of arms, and the assassinations of Martha Dinora, an indigenous leader, and Yandra Brito (former mayor of Barrancas) and her husband, Henry Ustariz, as well as the attempted murder of other prominent figures, according to El Pais Vallenato.
Even before Gomez came to political prominence, he had done time for illicit activities: “In 1991, Gomez briefly served time in prison on gun and cocaine possession charges, before beginning his political career as town Councillor of Barrancas in 1992,” according to InSight Crime.
Links between politicians and paramilitary groups, known as parapolitics, is not an uncommon occurrence, as some 140 former congressmen have pending criminal investigations against them.
FACT SHEET: Parapolitics scandal
- Accused Colombia Governor Highlights BACRIM Connections (Insight Crime)
- A Bogotá trasladan proceso contra exgobernador de La Guajira (El Pais Vallenato)