Colombia: probe widens in para scandal

Colombian prosecutors have opened a criminal probe of 20 leading political figures for signing a 2001 document with Salvatore Mancuso and other leaders of the illegal paramilitaries in a secret meeting at Mancuso’s base at Santa Fe Ralito, Córdoba department. The figures include six former congressmen, five former mayors and two former governors—Jesús María López of Córdoba and Salvador Arana of Sucre, who is in hiding. The investigation extends a growing scandal that follows the arrest of eight congressional allies of President Alvaro Uribe. Fiscal General Mario Iguaran told reporters his National Anti-Terrorist Unit has “formally opened an investigation into these people for conspiring to commit a crime.” (Reuters, Vanguardia Liberal, Bucaramanga, March 21; El Tiempo, Bogota, March 20)

See our last post on Colombia and the paramilitary scandal.