Several human rights NGOs asked before the Organization of American
States Monday to dissolve five of Colombia’s seven political coalition
parties. They say 35 percent of the country’s public officials is under
investigation for ties to paramilitary or drug organizations.
According to Colombian NGO Nuevo Arco Iris, International human rights defenders Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law, five of the seven parties within the coalition of President Álvaro Uribe are almost entirely in parliament because of deals made with paramilitary groups.
The most prominent parties he organizations want to see nullified are Partido de la U and the Conservative Party.
The ‘parapolitics’ scandal so far has led to the criminal investigation of some seventy congressmen. They are suspected of having used the intimidation of paramilitary forces to win a seat in Congress. A handful of congressman have been convicted.
The Colombian government, represented Monday by Carlos Franco, head of the Presidential Program for Human Rights, said Bogotá does not want to “ignore” the problem and admits having made “errors.”
Franco admitted than in Colombia “there is a serious problem with corruption” within the political system, but said the Government is “facing this problem like in no other country; effectively and speedily.”