February 10, 1996 |
Colombians are embarrassed and are preparing to feel even more so as investigations continue into whether President Ernesto Samper knew his 1994 campaign was financed largely with drug money. But experts here are convinced that the scandal may be just what the country needs. "This is going to be Watergate; it is going to be a terrible travail," political analyst Eduardo Pizarro predicted. "But Watergate led to reforms."
February 4, 1996 |
An alleged Colombian drug dealer imprisoned on trafficking charges whose wife was shot dead in a mob-style slaying has pleaded with the United States to take in his children because he fears for their lives, newspapers reported. Jesus Amado Sarria reportedly offered to assist U.S. drug investigations if his request was accepted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 1996
With Colombians divided between those who think their president should resign and those who think he should stay, Ernesto Samper should take into consideration the national good and step aside until his political fate is decided. Under Colombian law, a president may temporarily vacate the office without giving it up. A politically balanced congressional commission should investigate to determine whether Samper is innocent or guilty of knowingly receiving campaign money from drug lords.
January 31, 1996 |
President Ernesto Samper on Tuesday opened a special session of the Colombian Congress convened to decide whether there is enough evidence to try him on charges that he knew his 1994 campaign was financed with drug money. "I come here to ask Congress for justice," Samper said during a speech inaugurating the session. "I ask that Congress judge me quickly and with the guarantees of the constitution and the law--nothing more but also nothing less." Sen.
January 27, 1996 |
President Ernesto Samper's government teetered on the brink of collapse Friday as students marched through the streets of the capital, three Cabinet ministers resigned and business leaders signed an open letter, all demanding that he step aside because of mounting evidence that drug money financed his 1994 political campaign. The Colombian peso, which had stabilized late last year, has lost nearly 4% of its value since Jan.
December 8, 1995 |
Opponents are crying "Cover-up!" and Colombians fear new violence as a congressional committee dominated by President Ernesto Samper's political cronies prepares to clear him of charges that he financed his 1994 electoral campaign with drug money. Chief congressional investigator Heyne Mogollon has recommended that the Congressional Committee of Accusations shelve a four-month inquiry into Samper's activities for lack of proof of wrongdoing, Colombian newspapers reported Thursday.
September 29, 1995 |
Atty. Gen. Janet Reno on Thursday denied allegations from a high-level Colombian official that the United States might have been involved in an attack on an attorney for Colombian President Ernesto Samper. Soon after the attack, in which gunmen wounded Antonio Cancino, 55, and killed two of his bodyguards Wednesday in Bogota, Colombian Interior Minister Horacio Serpa suggested that U.S. agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration might be linked to the attack.
September 28, 1995 |
The lawyer defending President Ernesto Samper against accusations that his campaign was financed with drug money was wounded and two of his bodyguards were killed Wednesday by gunmen demanding the president's resignation. Antonio Cancino, 55, was shot three times, in the arm and hand, after dropping his son off at school about 7 a.m., police said. A third bodyguard was wounded.
September 27, 1995 |
Struggling to save his floundering administration from a growing drug scandal, President Ernesto Samper on Tuesday became the first Colombian president formally called to account by the country's Congress on accusations of corruption. Samper testified before the House of Representatives' chief investigator about allegations that his 1994 presidential campaign received $6 million in financing from the Cali drug cartel, at that time the world's largest exporter of cocaine.
September 9, 1995 |
Anticipating foreign reaction as a major drug scandal creeps devastatingly closer to the presidency, traditionally cool Colombian investors have caught the jitters, selling off stocks and changing pesos for dollars. Medellin stock exchange prices dropped 5.4% in dollar terms, and the peso devalued 6.4% in August as investors reacted to mounting evidence that President Ernesto Samper's 1994 campaign may have accepted as much as $6.2 million from the Cali cocaine cartel.