Mario Uribe Escobar, the president of Colombia’s cousin and leader of the Colombia Democratica political party, announced the removal of two Congressional candidates, Rocío Arias and Eleonora Pineda, from his party on 2 February for their outward support of paramilitary organizations. His announcement comes on the tail of a purge of a limited number of political candidates known to be supportive of Colombia’s paramilitary organizations.These two candidates belong to a long list of politicians that in private will admit to close contact with paramilitary chieftains. Arias and Pineda are considered the most public faces of a wide-reaching and deep-pocketed effort to increase paramilitary political control on the national level through the upcoming congressional elections to be held on Sunday, 12 March.A much smaller, more organized, and influential group of former paramilitary war lords has emerged. As a group, they began to exercise power within the realms of politics on a municipal and state level years ago. Their efforts were first recorded in the 2002 congressional elections. In these elections, paramilitary-supported candidates won with over 90 per cent of the vote in many cases because there was no opposition candidate on the ticket and voters were scared to abstain.Through these strong… Read full this story
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