Colombia’s Congress is clashing over Interior and Justice Minister
Fabio Valencia Cossio. The opposition says the minister must go after
the arrest of his brother for his alleged links to the mafia. The
coalition insists the Minister to stay.
The chairman of opposition party Polo Democrático, Carlos Gaviria Diaz, accused the Medellín Court that ruled Guillermo Valencia Cossio should await his trial under house arrest it was being favorable, because the arrested was the Minister’s brother. “There are people in prison for crimes as serious or less serious that those attributed to Guillermo Valencia, while he is given house arrest,” Gaviria told newspaper El Espectador.
Polo senator Alexander López said the minister was compromising the Colombians’ dignity by staying in power. “It doesn’t look good that his brothers’ relations with the mafia are affecting the State, for this he should resign,” the senator said.
The coalition parties are united in the persistence the Minister should not resign. Guillermo Zapata, spokesman of Equipo Colombiano, said no one should pay for his brother’s crimes and therefore teh Minister should stay in office.
Chairman of Convergencia Ciudadana, Samuel Benjamin Arrieta, supports Equipo Colombiano’s support for the Minister. “The accusations only affect mister Guillermo Léon Valencia Cossio and should not affect Fabio Valencia’s position in any way,” Arrieta said.
Radical Change spokesman Roy Barreras, supporting the Interior and Justice Minister said “only he will know how to respond to this situation. I do not think he shouldresign and pay for the crimes of his astray brother.”
Guillermo Valencia Cossio was arrested and arraigned Thursday because of his alleged ties to alleged paramilitary leader and drug lord Daniel “Don Mario” Rendón. The judge accepted the prosecution’s evidence as sufficient to start a trial against Medellín’s former director of the prosecution, but nevertheless allowed Valencia to await his trial at home.