Colombia prosecution officials on Thursday arrested the former president of the House of Representatives over the politician’s alleged collaboration with paramilitary forces.
The Conservative Party politician, Oscar Arboleda, was arrested in Bogota and taken to a local jail over a meeting the politician had in 2005 with a number of other politicians and commanders of paramilitary umbrella organization AUC.
Present at the meeting
On behalf of the AUC
The meeting, during which Arboleda allegedly was granted paramilitary support for his electoral ambitions, has already spurred the conviction of a senator and the recent arrest of a presidential primary candidate for the party of former President Alvaro Uribe.
According to the now-jailed paramilitary leaders, the Conservative Party politicians vowed to support the so-called Justice and Peace legislation that was later adopted to demobilize the AUC, granting its member judicial benefits in exchange for the paramilitaries’ collaboration with justice.
In return, the paramilitary commanders gave money to the politicians to finance their political campaigns.
Arboleda is the third politician in jail for his allegedly illegal pact with paramilitary bosses. Only one of the four politicians, former Senator Francisco Zapata, is still free, although he is widely expected to soon be arrested.
The former president of the House is only the last of more than a hundreds former members of Congress implicated in what has become known as “parapolitics,” the seeking of political benefits through alliances with the paramilitary AUC.
FACT SHEET: Parapolitics
- Capturan al excongresista Óscar Arboleda por ‘parapolítica’ (El Espectador)
- Las pruebas contra Luis Alfredo Ramos (El Espectador)