The Liberal Party candidate for mayor of Cali, a former FARC hostage, has denied links to both the FARC and narco-trafficking group “Los Rastrojos,” after being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office, El Pais reported Wednesday.
Sigifredo Lopez, kidnapped by the FARC for seven years, was accused of having received support from illegal armed groups during his run for the Senate in 2010. The complaint was originally filed by a citizen claiming to have evidence that Lopez solicited support from “Los Rastrojos” and the FARC in the various municipalities in which they enjoy influence.
The citizen complaint, filed by Arturo Oliveros Jimenez on April 29, drew from various statements, such as by Nariño Governor Antonio Navarro Wolf, that claim certain irregularities in the voting results, as well as the supposedly atypical election results in Valle del Cauca. The complaint prompted preliminary investigations by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The current Liberal Party candidate for the Cali mayorship responded to the allegations Tuesday, claiming that the votes he earned in 2010’s Senate race were from honest citizens. He associated the claims against him with his front-running in exit polls for his mayoral campaign.
“As nobody can accuse me of corruption, now they intend to accuse me of [being] guerrilla, paramilitary and narco-trafficker,” he stated, referring to the onset of the Cali “dirty war” that he says occurs every four years in the pre-election period.
Lopez asserted that he will not shrink from such claims as he has nothing to hide and he fully intends to continue his campaign to make Cali “a better city, more inclusive and safe.”
“I was a victim of the abominable crime of kidnapping by the FARC for more than seven years and nobody can come now and try to convert me into a perpetrator, which is why I ask the Prosecutor to clarify these claims,” he concluded.
The case has been sent from Bogota to Cali and will be processed there, where the next decision is whether to turn the preliminary investigaitons into formal proceedings.