A week of Political Scandals

Colombians lived a week of intense political turmoil, marked by the controversial statements by former paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso at the Medellin Attorney´s Office.

For three days, the dangerous leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), who is charged with nearly 500 murders, brought to light the names of a dozen politicians, top military chiefs, and companies linked with the extreme rightwing forces for years.

Mancuso not only mentioned people who are no longer in the public life, but also current Vice President Francisco Santos, and Defense minister Juan Manuel Santos, who immediately contradicted him, but could not avoid being shown up.

But prior to the criminal´s confessions, the para-politics scandal heated up with the arrest warrants against more than twenty political figures, including five congress people.

As if it were not enough, another parallel scandal emerged after it was revealed that for years, the National Police Intelligence Department dedicated to tap the telephones of dozens of members of the government and the opposition, journalists, and businesspeople.

What worries Colombians most is that it was not disclosed who ordered to tap the phones, and why, thus arising doubts over the highest governmental spheres.

[Source: Prensa Latina, Bogota, 20may07]

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