Colombian former representative Miguel Angel Rangel Sosa was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail for ties to paramilitary death squads, and must pay a fine of COP334 million ($185,000), local media reported Thursday.
The Supreme Court found Rangel guilty of conspiracy for dealing with the now-demobilized paramilitary group Heroes de Montes de Maria.
Rangel, former representative for the Bolivar department, was supported by paramilitaries in that region.
Witness testimony linked the politician to paramilitary leaders Ivan Roberto Duque, alias “Ernesto Baez,” and investigators found that Rangel hired Ernesto Baez’s sister as a political adviser.
The paramilitary leader claimed, however, that he had in fact ordered his group to back a different candidate and that their support for Rangel had been a betrayal.
The investigation against Rangel Sosa was opened in January of 2008, and a year later a warrant for his arrest was issued. Shortly after, he gave himself up to the authorities.