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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 07:04 GMT
Colombia political scandal widens
Maria Consuelo Araujo
Ms Araujo resigned as her father and brother were investigated
Colombian prosecutors have ordered the arrest of the father of an ex-minister following an inquiry into links between politicians and right-wing militias.

Alvaro Araujo Noguera, a prominent former politician, is charged with helping to kidnap a political rival.

His daughter, Maria Consuelo Araujo, resigned as foreign minister when her brother was accused of the same crime.

Several allies of President Alvaro Uribe have recently been arrested over alleged ties to paramilitary groups.

Colombia's former intelligence chief was also charged last week with murder and collaborating with right-wing militias.

Jorge Noguera, head of the Administrative Security Department (DAS), resigned in October but has denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Araujo announced her resignation 10 days ago, saying she was stepping down in order to help prove the innocence of her father and brother, Senator Alvaro Araujo.

Cocaine trade

Colombia's right-wing paramilitaries are accused of drug-trafficking and some of the worst atrocities in the country's long civil conflict.

Mr Uribe was re-elected last year and has been popular for reducing crime.

He has backed a clampdown on leftist rebels and overseen the disbanding of thousands of right-wing paramilitaries.

The militias were formed in the 1980s to fight Marxist guerrillas but both sides have been involved in the cocaine trade.

Tens of thousands of civilians are known to have died in the 40-year conflict between the state and left-wing rebels.

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