Colombia: seized guerilla computer leads to "farcpolítica" scandal
In what the Colombian press is explicitly portraying as a "farcpolítica" scandal to rival the "parapolítica" outrage, chief prosecutor Mario Iguarán asked the Supreme Court to investigate three opposition legislators for alleged links to the FARC guerillas. The investigations were reportedly prompted by data from laptop computers seized in the March 1 cross-border raid into Ecuador. Under suspicion is Sen. Piedad Cordoba (Liberal Party), who helped mediate the recent release of six FARC-held hostages. She maintains her links with FARC were only to help free the hostages. Only the high court can bring charges against sitting legislators.
The other two Colombian legislators under investigation are Sen. Gloria Inés Ramírez and Rep. Wilson Borja (both of the Polo Democrático Alternativo). Iguarán said five other Colombians and four foreigners were suspected of FARC links, including María Augusta Calle, a member of Ecuador's Constituent Assembly; Amilkar Figueroa, Venezuelan representative to the Latin American Parliament; and US academic James Jones. Twelve suspects were named in all.
Jones called the allegations "ludicrous," saying his only contact with the FARC was in 2003 during an effort to help mediate the release of three US hostages. (La Patria, Manizales, Caldas; LAT, May 23; BBC, May 22)