A trial began Monday in Colombia’s highest court of former chief intelligence chief Miguel Maza over the assassination of a left-leaning presidential candidate just over a quarter of a century ago.
In 1989 Luis Carlos Galan, a favorite for the country’s top post, was riddled with bullets by cartel members while campaigning in a huge rally in Soacha.
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Maza, who has been behind bars since 2013, is accused of taking payments from narco-boss Pablo Escobar to reduce the anti-mafia politician’s security detail.
The former intelligence agency boss denies the allegations.
Galan is remembered for opposing the growing power of drug cartels and for his left-leaning proposals. He was also one of the first critics of the growing ties between the Colombian state and paramilitary groups.
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His assassins have, until now, not been caught.
According to investigations related to the case, it was Carlos Castaño – an Israeli-trained, CIA collaborator, paramilitary leader – who planned the death of the late candidate.
The court case comes amid a stream of allegations of state corruption and collusion in violence in the disturbed Latin American country.“These aren’t isolated incidents,” Senator Juan Manuel Galan, the presidential hopeful’s son, said. “There’s a common thread linking all these crimes.”