Colombia state governor arrested for murder

Confessions and testimony from former paramilitary members has snared at least 61 ex-legislators and regional or local governors in cases of corruption and murder.

Colombian agents arrested the state governor of La Guajira for his alleged involvement in three murders and accusations of conspiracy to commit crime, the attorney general’s office said late Saturday.

Authorities have linked Governor Juan Francisco “Kiko” Gomez to criminal gangs and right-wing paramilitary fighters in La Guajira, in northern Colombia on the border with Venezuela, deputy Attorney General Jorge Fernando Perdomo told reporters.

He said there was enough evidence to link Gomez to the 1997 murder of Barrancas Councilman Luis Lopez Peralta, as well as the 2000 deaths of Luis Alejandro Rodriguez and Rosa Mercedes Cabrera. At least three political analysts say that Gomez is behind death threats against them for their work.

One of them, Claudia Lopez, left Colombia due to the threats. Pressing charges in court against Gomez “can only be guaranteed in Bogota,” Lopez wrote in a Twitter message.

A trial in Riohacha or Valledupar, cities in La Guajira, would be useless because “Kiko meddles in the state at will,” she claimed.


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