Colombian authorities on Saturday arrested a former senator for the second time for his alleged ties to paramilitary groups.
Relatives of former senator Jairo Merlano Fernandez told newspaper El Tiempo that the arrest was carried out early Saturday morning and came as a surprise for the politician who was just waking up after celebrating his wife’s birthday before.
In 2006, Merlano Fernandez was arrested for allegedly having received support of right-wing death squads to secure his election to Congress in the 2002 elections. However, he was acquitted of the charges in 2008;.
Merlano was one of the first of dozens of Colombian congressmen who have been jailed for (in some cases allegedly) having used the support of paramilitary death squads to be elected into Congress during the 2002 and 2006 Congressional elections.