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News > Latin America

Paramilitary-Backed Colombian Senator Will Go to Prison

  • Ex-President Alvaro Uribe (L) and Ex-Senator Luis Ramos.

    Ex-President Alvaro Uribe (L) and Ex-Senator Luis Ramos. | Photo: Twitter/@lavozdepueblo1.

Published 1 October 2021

Between 2001 and 2007, he received receiving money and political support from paramilitary groups such as the Centauros Bloc, the Gas Cartel, and the Metro Block.

Colombia's Supreme Court sentenced the former senator and Antioquia's former governor Luis Ramos to almost eight years in prison due to his ties to paramilitary groups.


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He received economic and political support from right-wing groups during his electoral campaigns. In exchange, the politician offered to lessen the pressure of the security forces on these illegal organizations.

This agreement was made effective while Ramos served as senator between 2001 and 2007. In this period, besides receiving money from the paramilitary leader Juan Sierra, Ramos got support from the Centauros Bloc, the Gas Cartel, and the Metro Block.

Later, when this politician served as Antioquia governor (2008-2011), he participated in activities of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a paramilitary group with links to the Democratic Center (DC), a party founded by former President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). In fact, Ramos was a DC member since 2013.

In justifying its decision, the Court highlighted that Ramos contributed to the structural violence that affected the Antioquia population and undermined the National interests.

Previously, Ramos was in preventive detention for this case. However, he was granted parole in November 2016. Since then, the authorities have continued to investigate his links with the leaders of the AUC Central Block.

The meetings between the politician and the paramilitary high command would have occurred between 2004 and 2005, that is, during the negotiations of the "Justice and Peace" bill, which paved the way for the legal demobilization of these irregular groups.

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