Former Congressman Oscar Leonidas Wilches has been captured in the city of Ipiales and sentenced to seven years and five months in prison for “parapolitics” and the crime of conspiracy, Semana reported Thursday.
The Prosecutor General’s Office requested the Supreme Court last October to convict Wilches after having found there was sufficient evidence against him for his links with the AUC leader of the northeastern department of Casanare, Hector Buitrago, alias “Martin Llanos,”
Wilches had served as mayor, governor and then a House representative for the Casanare department and had been accused of meeting with Martin Llanos to gain backing from the right wing movement for the elections to the governorship and Congress.
In a statement, Wilches did not deny that he had met with the paramilitary but insisted that he did so only to ensure his personal safety and to try and safeguard his farm from any extortion attempts by paramilitaries.
Wilches was first a member of the Liberal Party before crossing the floor to the Cambio Radical party and was first investigated for involvement in parapolitics in 2007. He will serve his sentence at La Picota prison in Bogota where he will be transferred later on Friday.