Colombia: jailed para leaders barred from politics

Colombia April 3 denied a request from jailed paramilitary leaders to campaign for candidates in local elections. Fourteen of about 60 para bosses jailed near Medellin sought permission to campaign in their cental and northern hometowns on behalf of gubernatorial and mayoral candidates in October’s elections. “The president does not think it would be viable for them to leave jail,” Colombian Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo told local radio.

“They still have their cell phones and personal computers with Internet access,” said political commentator Ricardo Avila. “So they will exert a good deal of influence anyway.” (Reuters, April 2)

See our last posts on Colombia and the para scandal.