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THE WEEK AHEAD

BOGOTA : Shadow of Scandal

August 02, 1994

Ernesto Samper will be sworn in as president of Colombia Sunday amid a simmering scandal over attempts by cocaine traffickers to finance Samper's electoral campaign.

Samper has conceded that leaders of the Cali cartel, who control 80% of the international cocaine trade, offered money, but he denies accepting it. The allegations, which came to light with the release of secret recordings of the traffickers discussing their plans, alarmed U.S. officials and raised concerns about Colombia's resolve to continue the war on drugs.

An economist and longtime Liberal Party political insider, Samper won a narrow election victory June 19.

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