- Oct 27, 2003
Cocaine used in Colombian parliament: senator
August 26, 2005 - 8:25AM
Colombian politicians use cocaine at work and the drug is being sold within the halls of Congress, the senate vice president said, disclosing details of an investigation that uncovered serious security breaches.
"Biscuit sellers, shoe sellers, astrologers and marijuana and cocaine dealers all enter Congress," Senator Edgar Artunduaga said.
Artunduaga's office ordered the investigation. He wouldn't provide details who carried it out or what methods they used.
He said the recent probe into security at the congressional buildings also revealed that none of the closed circuit cameras worked and that some 10,000 people possessed security badges giving them access to the buildings, but many of the IDs were fake.
Artunduaga, however, refused to provide the names of lawmakers he said were using cocaine, despite pressure from some of his colleagues. He noted that it's legal in Colombia to possess small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin for personal usage.
"But I will denounce the (drug) dealers to authorities," he said, describing some of them as "middle-ranking officials."
Some lawmakers accused Artunduaga, a former journalist, of deliberately trying to smear Congress' reputation.
"Artunduaga should present evidence and say who are the lawmakers that use drugs, or resign," said Armando Benedetti, a pro-government deputy in the lower chamber.
Sen. Antonio Navarro, former guerrilla leader and leading critic of conservative President Alvaro Uribe, said he was surprised by the allegations.
"Speaking for myself, nobody has offered me any," Navarro, who is running for president in next year's elections, told Caracol radio.
Colombia is the world's biggest producer of cocaine. The United States has provided some $US4 billion ($A5.3 billion) in mostly military aid to Colombia since 2000 to combat drug trafficking and leftist rebels that control much of the trade.
Jesus Christ. Is this even news worthy? No shit theres coke in the Colombian parliament. Where in Colombia isnt there coke?