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Colombians Vote, Fear Cartel's Grip

March 14, 1994| Associated Press

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombians went to voting booths Sunday to elect a new Congress that some critics said was being bought by the powerful Cali cocaine cartel.

According to preliminary unofficial results, the ruling Liberal Party maintained control over the Senate. The party was also expected to keep its grip on the House of Representatives.

Turnout was reportedly low across the country. Final official results were expected late today.

The Cali cartel, the world's main supplier of cocaine, is widely believed to have compromised many members of the outgoing Congress through bribery and intimidation.

Rebels kidnaped 31 election workers Saturday near Carcasi, 160 miles northeast of Bogota, army commander Gen. Hernan Jose Guzman said.

Eight soldiers and five rebels were killed in four firefights Saturday and early Sunday.

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