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Thu Sep 11, 2014, 07:16 PM

Congress president apologizes for lawmakers’ ties to paramilitary group

Congress president apologizes for lawmakers’ ties to paramilitary group
Sep 11, 2014 posted by Emil Foget

The president of Colombia’s Congress issued a formal apology over lawmakers’ ties to a paramilitary group in one of the country’s most conflict-ridden states, but failed to mention other lawmakers’ ties to other paramilitary groups in the remaining 31 states.

The televised message of Senator Jose David Name was broadcast to comply with a court order that ordered Congress to take responsibility and apologize to victims of paramilitary leader “El Iguano” who ran the Catatumbo Bloc of paramilitary umbrella organization AUC.

The apology was explicitly directed at a number of communities in Norte de Santander, a state in the north of Colombia that has seen seven congressmen disappear behind bars for using the paramilitary forces for their political or personal benefit.

Seven congressmen from the state were subsequently investigated for “parapolitics.” In total, 45 Colombian congressmen have been sentenced and sent to prison for using paramilitaries to coerce voters.


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