Colombia’s Inspector General on Wednesday barred former senator Juan Carlos Martinez from public office for his ties to drug trafficking paramilitary groups.
The former senator from Valle de Cauca has already served time in jail for his links with paramilitary groups however the latest sanctions ban Martinez from holding public office for 20 years.
According to newspaper El Espectador, the 20-year ban is the maximum disciplinary penalty permitted by law in the case of Martinez’s links with the Calima Bloc of the defunct paramilitary umbrella group United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).
For the same reasons, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court sentenced Martinez to seven and a half years in prison in 2008.
Martinez was convicted of securing the support of the paramilitary Calima block in winning the senate election in Valle de Cauca.
It was found that Martinez sponsored and promoted the illegal armed group in return for the support which the paramilitaries gave his campaign.
Testimony given by the former paramilitary leader Hever Veloso, alias “HH” and other members of the Calima Block revealed the links and political agreements in the run-up to the 2002 senate election.
Martinez is currently also under investigation for alleged links with drug trafficking and fraud for the special elections for the governorship of Valle de Cauca in 2012.