Updating a post from November, here is our most current list of Colombian government officials and congresspeople facing accusations of assisting or associating with paramilitary groups.
Some are in prison, some are under investigation, and some are facing accusations from witnesses in formal investigations. All are members or supporters of the government of President Álvaro Uribe.
Corrections and additions are welcome. It’s not easy to keep score.
Sentenced and in prison:
- Rafael García, former director of information services for the presidential intelligence service, the Administrative Security Department (DAS), who has since become a star witness against other officials.
Charged by the attorney-general’s office, and in custody:
- Trino Luna, governor of Magdalena department.
- Jorge Noguera, director of the DAS, later the Uribe government’s consul in Milan, Italy.
Charged by the attorney-general’s office, and suspended from duty:
- Col. Hernán Mejía, who upon suspension was commander of the Colombian Army’s 13th Mobile Brigade, based in Larandia, Caquetá
Under investigation by Colombia’s Supreme Court, and currently in prison:
- Senator Álvaro Araújo of Cesar department (brother of former Foreign Minister María Consuelo Araújo).
- Representative Alfonso Campo of Magdalena department.
- Senator Álvaro García of Sucre department.
- Senator Dieb Maloof of Magdalena department.
- Senator Jairo Merlano of Sucre department.
- Representative Erick Morris Taboada of Sucre department.
- Senator Mauricio Pimiento of La Guajira department.
- Former Representative Muriel Benito Rebollo of Sucre department.
- Senator Luis Eduardo Vives of Magdalena department.
Arrest warrants issued, still fugitives:
- Salvador Arana, former governor of Sucre department and the Uribe government’s former ambassador to Chile.
- Alvaro Araújo Noguera, former congressman from Cesar department and former minister of Agriculture, father of arrested Senator Álvaro Araújo and of Consuelo Araújo, who was forced to resign her post as foreign minister in February 2007.
- Representative Jorge Luis Caballero of Magdalena department.
Under investigation by Colombia’s Supreme Court:
- Senator David Char Navas of Atlántico department.
- Senator Miguel de la Espriella of Córdoba department, a member of Colombia Democrática, 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.
- Representative Lidio García Turbay of Bolívar department.
- Representative Zulema Jattin of Córdoba department.
- Senator Juan Manuel López Cabrales of Córdoba department.
- Senator Reginaldo Montes of Córdoba department.
- Senator William Alfonso Montes of Bolívar department.
- Representative José de los Santos Negrete of Córdoba department.
- Senator Ciro Ramírez of Boyacá department.
- Representative Salomón Saade of Magdalena department.
- Representative Oscar Wilches of Casanare department.
Under investigation by Colombia’s attorney-general:
- Former Senator Vicente Blel of Bolívar department.
- Former Representative Jorge Castro.
- Former Representative José Gamarra.
- Hernando Molina, governor of Cesar department.
Forced to resign by allegations of paramilitary ties:
- Luis Carlos Ordosgoitia, director of the National Concessions Institute (INCO) in the Ministry of Transportation, former representative from Córdoba.
Fired by the Procuraduría (internal-affairs agency):
- Jorge Luis Alfonso López, mayor of Magangué, Bolivar. López’s mother, Enilce López (“La Gata” or “The Cat”), 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 “La Gata” for his 2002 campaign.