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Archive for Friday, February 23, 2007

Arrest brings scandal closer to president

February 23, 2007

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— Authorities on Thursday arrested the former head of Colombia's top police agency in connection with a widening paramilitary scandal that is moving closer to President Alvaro Uribe.

The arrest of Jorge Noguera, who directed Colombia's Department of Administrative Security, or DAS, follows the resignation Monday of Colombia's foreign minister, Maria Consuelo Araujo, whose brother and four other congressmen, all staunch Uribe supporters, have been arrested on charges of links to illegal right-wing militias.

Noguera, 43, was a close Uribe associate who organized Colombia's coastal zone during the president's victorious 2002 electoral campaign. Although he had little government experience, he was named head of the powerful investigative entity after Uribe's first inauguration.

Informants accused Noguera of doing the bidding of paramilitary commanders while leading the police agency.

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