Two ex-congressmen on Tuesday were disqualified for running for public office for 20 years due to their ties to right wing paramilitary death squads.
Former Liberal Party representatives Dixon Tapasco and Enrique Barco were found guilty by Colombia’s Inspector General for their relationship with the AUC’s paramilitary Central Bolivar Bloc, consequently prohibiting them from running for public office for the next 20 years, reported newspaper El Espectador.
According to Caracol Radio, the Inspector General established that the politicians’ relationship with the Central Bolivar Bloc leader, alias “Ernesto Baez,” was fundamentally connected to their 2006 elections, with the AUC bloc supporting the politicians’ election campaign and providing “electoral benefits” for the congressmen in return for paramilitary support and expansion in the Caldas department while the two congressmen served in Colombia’s House of Representatives.
Tapasco is also being processed for his alleged role in the murder of a journalist in 2002.
The two are part of a group of dozens of national politicians who have been found guilty of what in Colombia has become known as “parapolitics.”