Medellin‘s ex-mayor Alonso Salazar was barred from holding public office for 12 years for trying to influence the 2011 city elections.
The former mayor accused then-candidate and long-time political enemy Luis Perez of using criminal groups to intimidate voters in the middle of the mayoral election campaign. According to Colombian electoral law, as a sitting public official Salazar was not allowed to interfere in elections.
While the intimidation was confirmed by electoral observers and locals, Colombia’s Inspector General ruled that “Salazar decided to influence the electoral process and leaked information to the media.”
According to Salazar, he was doing his job as mayor and commander-in-chief of the Medellin police when publicly denouncing Perez of maintaining ties to criminals.
The accusations led to criminal investigations against Perez.
The then-candidate, who was mayor of Medellin between 2001 and 2004, previously accused Salazar of maintaining ties to members of the now-demobilized paramilitary organization AUC.
The alleged mediator between Perez and local gangs was assassinated just after the elections that were won by Perez’ opponent, the current mayor Anibal Gaviria.