The Washington Post | 3/17/2010 12:00:00 AM
Colombia voters elect political novices with possible links to death squads
March 17--A new political party accused of having links to right-wing death squads gained important political ground in Colombia's congressional elections Sunday, raising concerns that ties between corrupt politicians and armed gangs remain strong, despite vigorous criminal investigations.
Many of those implicated in crimes resigned from Congress, and election observers had hoped that voters would cast ballots against would-be successors with suspected criminal links. That would have helped purify a Congress badly tarnished by its collaboration with groups that trafficked cocaine, killed villagers and toppled small-town governments.
But Sunday, voters instead elected scores of political novices who are either under investigation or are relatives or associates of lawmakers implicated in a range of crimes. Political analysts say a third of the incoming lawmakers have questionable connections, as many as when prosecutors began leveling charges against members of Congress more than three years ago.
Read more here.
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.