Here, as far as we can tell, is a current list of Colombian government officials and congresspeople facing accusations of assisting or associating with paramilitary groups.
Some are under investigation, some are facing accusations from witnesses in formal investigations, and at least one has made admissions to the media. All are members or supporters of the government of President Ãlvaro Uribe.
This list is not authoritative; it is what we’ve come up with after a thorough read of Colombia’s press during the past few weeks.
- Senator Ãlvaro AraÃºjo of Cesar department, brother of Foreign Minister MarÃa Consuelo AraÃºjo.
- Senator Ãlvaro GarcÃa of Sucre department.
- Senator Jairo Merlano of Sucre department.
- Senator Mauricio Pimiento of Cesar department.
- Senator Dieb Maloof of Magdalena department.
- Senator Luis Eduardo Vives of Magdalena department.
- Senator David Char Navas of AtlÃ¡ntico department.
â€¢ Representative Jorge Luis Caballero of Magdalena department.
- Representative Alfonso Campo of Magdalena department.
- Representative Erik Morris of Sucre department.
- Representative Zulema Jattin of CÃ³rdoba department.
- Representative SalomÃ³n Saade of Magdalena department.
- Representative Lidio GarcÃa of BolÃvar department.
- Senator Miguel de la Espriella of CÃ³rdoba department, a member of Colombia DemocrÃ¡tica, a small pro-Uribe political party headed by the president’s cousin, Mario Uribe. De la Espriella says he is one of 40 politicians who held a secret meeting with paramilitary leaders in 2001.
â€¢ Former Representative Jorge Castro.
- Former Representative JosÃ© Gamarra.
- Former Representative Muriel Benito Rebollo of Sucre department.
- Former Senator Vicente Blel of BolÃvar department.
- Jorge Noguera, director of the presidential intelligence service, the Administrative Security Department (DAS), later the Uribe government’s consul in Milan, Italy.
- Rafael GarcÃa, former DAS director of information services, who has since become a star witness against other officials.
- Salvador Arana, former governor of Sucre department and the Uribe government’s former ambassador to Chile.
- Trino Luna, governor of Magdalena department.
â€¢ Luis Carlos Ordosgoitia, director of the National Concessions Institute (INCO) in the Ministry of Transportation, former representative from CÃ³rdoba.
- Jorge Luis Alfonso LÃ³pez, mayor of MaganguÃ©, Bolivar. LÃ³pez’s mother, Enilce LÃ³pez (â€œLa Gataâ€ or â€œThe Catâ€), who dominated lotteries and other gambling along Colombia’s north coast, is currently in custody for assisting paramilitaries. President Uribe has admitted receiving a donation of about $40,000 from â€œLa Gataâ€ for his 2002 campaign.
- JosÃ© David GonzÃ¡lez, councilmember of Sincelejo, Sucre.