Family members of demobilized paramilitary leaders gear up their campaigns for Colombian local government positions in the 2011 elections, newspaper El Tiempo reported Thursday.
Roberto Jiminez Naranjo, the brother of extradited AUC paramilitary leader Carlos Mario Jimenez, alias “Macaco,” will run for mayor of Dosquebrados in the department of Risalda.
Naranjo told El Tiempo that he has been working on his campaign for two years and does not consider the actions of his extradited brother to be an impediment.
“We are collecting signatures to register as a civic movement,” Naranjo said to the newspaper.
The Liberal Party refused to endorse Naranjo, but the mayor-hopeful claims to already have 37,000 of the necessary 40,000 signatures.
In the town of Aguadas in the Caldas department, Luz Idalba Duque Gaviria, sister of the former paramilitary boss of the AUC’s Central Bolivar Bloc “Ernesto Baez,” is planning on running for mayor. Gaviria held that office from 1994-1996. Her brother was charged with the murder of a mayor in the Caldas region in 2009.
Gaviria told El Tiempo, “I have nothing to do with Carlos Mario, he is paying time in the U.S. for his actions, I am a different person, and I have served this community,” she told El Tiempo.
A spokesperson for the National Salvation Movement, a conservative party in Colombia, said that Gaviria is “a good option” as she is the wife of a former mayor of the same town and a recognized leader in the area.
She currently chairs the “Committee of Solidarity” which develops social projects in Aguadas, the same area where her brother led his criminal gang three years ago.
The local elections will take place in October 2011.