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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Former Colombian Politician Makes Daring Jail Escape


7Dnews London

Thu, 03 Oct 2019 09:11 GMT

A Colombian politician who was jailed for buying votes in the 2018 Colombian elections, escaped from custody by climbing out of a toilet window and fleeing on a motorbike, AFP reported on Thursday October 3rd.

Aída Merlano, 43, was attending a scheduled dentist’s appointment at a Medical Centre in Bogota on Tuesday October 1st in the early morning, when she was able to get away from her prison guard, reportedly leaving her two children behind.

She was caught on a security camera using a red rope to climb down from a window, before losing her grip and sliding down the cord, crashing to the ground near the entrance of the clinic.

The former senator who is from the coastal city of Barranquilla, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars last September for buying votes during the 2018 general election, that saw her elected senator for the Conservative Party.

In the wake of the incident, the Justice Minister Margarita Cabello dismissed the head of the women's prison in Bogota, William Ruiz, as well as the head of Colombia's prison system, and eight prison staff members who were also suspended pending an investigation, all due to their lack of professionality.

The defendant, Merlano, was facing allegations over several crimes, from aggravated crimes and corruption, and well as for illegal possession of weapons. So far, the authorities have declared a bounty for information that will lead to the capture of Merlano, according to CNN.

This is not the first time that a former politician has been indicted for serious crimes in Colombia, in 1992, one-time drugs kingpin Pablo Escobar and 12 of his men absconded from La Catedral prison, however 18 months later he was shot dead by the police in his home town, according to AFP.

Latin America