Former Senator Eduardo Merlano was officially stripped of his investiture by Colombia’s State Council on Wednesday after he had been caught driving under the influence.
The loss of investiture is due to an incident in Barranquilla on 13 May, 2012 when Merlano refused to take a sobriety test after police suspected him of driving under the influence.
During that incident, Merlano tried using his position as a senator in order to refuse to take the test and to prevent the police from immobilizing his vehicle.
“I am a Senator of the Republic, 50,000 votes. 50,000 people voted for me and you are going to disrespect me?” he was caught on video saying.
The State Council found that this was was an abuse of his investiture and a violation of the behavior expected of elected officials.
Merlano was barred from holding a public office for 10 years in 2012 after the Inspector General found him responsible for the incident.
The coalition senator, a member of President Juan Manuel Santos‘ U Party, is not the first of his family to run into trouble with the law; His father, former Senator Jairo Merlano is in prison for using paramilitary death squads to coerce voters into voting for him.
- Decretan pérdida de investidura para exsenador Merlano (El Tiempo)
- Consejo de Estado decreta muerte política a senador Eduardo Merlano (Caracol Radio)
- Senador Eduardo Merlano, destituido e inhabilitado por 10 años (Semana)
- El próximo 16 de octubre se conocerá fallo disciplinario contra senador Merlano (El Espectador)
- Penalista dice que puede ser indagado disciplinariamente. Congresista Díaz afirma: “Es reprochable”. (El Tiempo)