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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-31-11 04:12 PM
Original message
Court orders arrest of politician suspected of ordering Galan murder
Source: Colombia Reports

Court orders arrest of politician suspected of ordering Galan murder
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 12:05 Travis Mannon

The Colombian Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Alberto Santofimio Botero, a former presidential candidate, for his alleged involvement in the 1989 assassination of political rival Luis Carlos Galan.

According to newspaper El Espectador, Santofimio has asked the Technical Investigation Team (CTI) not to pursue him because he plans to turn himself in to the Prosecutor General's Office Wednesday evening.

Former Justice Minister Santofimio was originally convicted in 2007 and sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for his alleged role as the mastermind of the murder. The High Court of Cundinamerica's acquitted him the following year, citing a lack of material evidence to prove his guilt.

Following Santofimio's release, Galan's family and the Prosecutor General's Office filed an appeal to the Supreme Court requesting that his acquittal be overturned.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/18689-arr...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-31-11 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wikipedia description of this Colombian leftist Presidential candidate's murder:
~snip~
Assassination
Threats
According to accounts the first assassination threats were phonecalls made to Galn's home phone number after the Liberal Party Convention to nominate an official candidate. Flyers were left in the mailbox threatening to kill or kidnap his children. An attempt to kill Galn with an RPG was thwarted while visiting Medelln on August 4, 1989. The assassination attempt was frustrated by Waldemar Franklin Quintero's men who got tipped off. Quintero was the commander of the Colombian National Police in Antioquia and along with him and Galn was the Mayor of Medelln, Pedro Pablo Palez, both of these men were killed weeks later after the assassination attempt. After this event Galn and his family restricted their travels especially during the night time.<8>

SoachaLater on Galn's staff received information from the Colombian intelligence services advising him of the presence in Bogot of a group of hitmen with the intention to kill him. His staff advised him not to travel to the town of Soacha and that the trip to Valledupar was more suitable since he was also scheduled to attend a football match in nearby Barranquilla for the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifications and in which the Colombian team was going to play. At the last moment Galn changed his mind and ordered his staff to prepare to go to Soacha.<8> Galn was killed as he walked onto the stage to give a speech in front of 10,000 people in Soacha. At least ten others were wounded in the gunfire.<9>

Perpetrators
The Colombian drug cartels were worried of the possible approval in congress of an extradition treaty with the United States and political enemies feared Galn's increasing power would isolate many of them from the votes.

According to John Jairo Velsquez aka "Popeye" and Luis Carlos Aguilar aka "El Mugre", Escobar's former hitman, the assassination was planned in a farm by Pablo Escobar, Gonzalo Rodrguez aka "El Mexicano", Liberal political leader Alberto Santofimio and others. Velsquez affirmed that Santofimio had certain influence over Escobar's decision making and he had heard him say "kill him Pablo, kill him!".<10>

Other potential perpetrators were mentioned by a demobilized member of the AUC paramilitary group, "Ernesto Baez", who testified that the murder of Galn was organized by the Colombian mafia with the participation of corrupt members of the military and the DAS.<11>

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Carlos_Gal%C3%A1n



Luis Carlos Galan
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-31-11 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
2.  Colombia court reinstates ex-minister's conviction
31 August 2011 Last updated at 18:41 ET
Colombia court reinstates ex-minister's conviction

Colombia's Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction in a murder case against a former justice minister.

Alberto Santofimio will serve 24 years in jail for his role in the killing of rival politician and presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Galan in 1989.

Mr Santofimio received the same sentence in 2007 but was released on appeal after spending a year in prison.

Relatives of the murdered politician appealed against the decision and the Supreme Court ruled in their favour.

Santofimio was a close associate of the late drug baron Pablo Escobar.

More:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-14742303
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-31-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. Politician surrenders to serve sentence for Galan murder
Politician surrenders to serve sentence for Galan murder
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 18:09
Adriaan Alsema



Colombian former Minister Alberto Santofimio surrendered to authorities Wednesday after the Supreme Court annulled his acquittal for ordering the 1989 murder of popular presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.

Santofimio, accompanied by his defense attorney, presented himself at the Prosecutor General's Office where he was arrested.

The Supreme Court ordered the former justice minister to complete his sentence of 24 years imprisonment despite being acquitted of the murder charges by a lower court.

Santofimio has always denied responsibility in the murder on Galan but several witnesses testified that the politician asked his friend, slain drug lord Pablo Escobar, to kill Galan who was Santofimio's political opponent in the race to the 1990 presidency.

http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/18702-pol...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-01-11 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
4.  Back to jail for Colombia ex-minister
Edited on Thu Sep-01-11 02:34 PM by Judi Lynn
Back to jail for Colombia ex-minister
September 1 2011 at 11:13am

Bogota - Colombia's supreme court has upheld a 24-year jail sentence against a drug cartel-linked former justice minister convicted of taking part in the assassination of a rival presidential candidate in 1989.

The decision will send the former minister, Alberto Santofimio, back to prison for the murder of Luis Carlos Galan. Santofimio was first sentenced in 2007 but was released the following year on appeal.

The family of the slain candidate had filed a legal complaint with the court over Santofimio's release, noting that he had been found responsible in the death of Galan and another two people who perished in the attack.

Galan, who took a hard line against the country's powerful drug cartels and was the favourite to win the election in 1990, was shot dead in a public square in a town outside Bogota as he prepared to give a speech.

The assassination was carried out by gunmen loyal to the infamous cartel boss Pablo Escobar, a friend of Santofimio.

More:
http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/back-to-jail-for-colomb...
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-01-11 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thank you for the information Judy Lynn.
Glad the family was able to prevail.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-01-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. Compare and contrast
Galan, doing what he thinks best for the country, risks death and the lives of his family, and pays the ultimate price for crossing the ruling structure of Colombia. Donald Rumsfeld, in Washington state near Fort Lewis to sign copies of his book, has security remove one person who heads a local peace group and a widow who plunked down the funeral notice for her late husband. Warmongers are a cowardly bunch when they're not sending other people off to kill and die.

In Colombia, they are still working to come to terms with their shameful past. In the United States, we refuse to politicize crimes against humanity or even investigate them, because we're all about lookin' forward to the future. And in the future, you can bet the U.S. will scold some other nation for not being sufficiently self-flagellating about its past.
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