Former Secretary Gustavo Villegas will only be charged of the crime of failing to report an extortion attempt on a family business, local newspaper El Colombiano reported Monday.
A judge has yet to approve the plea bargain in which the prosecution reportedly dropped the conspiracy charges that were initially filed.
Villegas, a member of one of Medellin’s most powerful political dynasties, was arrested in September last year on claims he helped bosses of La Oficina, which has controlled Medellin’s underworld since the 1980s.
The arrest sent a shock wave through Medellin’s political and economic elite that has long been accused of having ties to drug traffickers, organized crime and paramilitary groups that continue controlling the city’s neighborhoods and, according to the prosecution, the very top of the city’s government.
The ties between Medellin’s political elite and regional paramilitary groups has been a scourge in the city for decades and previously led to the arrest of another dynasty politician, Guillermo Leon Valencia, who as Medellin’s former chief prosecutor was arrested and ultimately convicted on similar charges as those filed against Villegas.
At the time of his arrest in 2008, Valencia’s brother Fabio, was the justice minister of former President Alvaro Uribe, whose family had intimate ties to the Medellin Cartel and who is now facing multiple war crime investigations.
As part of the peace process and with active US support, the Colombian government has committed to dismantle the paramilitary structures that have permeated and corrupted Colombia’s political system since the 1990s.