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"Don't call me protectionist"

Uribe in trouble

Mario Uribe, that is, although it's not hard to make an argument that the Colombian president (Álvaro Uribe) is probably feeling a little uncomfortable right now as well. The wires are aflame with the latest in the "para-politics" scandal that has, rather outrageously, been flying under the radar a little during this whole Colombia FTA debacle. In short, there's an arrest warrant out for Mario Uribe - President Uribe's second cousin - who is under suspicion of conspiring with murderous paramilitary groups. Instead of consenting to arrest, he fled to the Costa Rican embassy and is seeking asylum. (!) The AP had one of the earliest stories:

Colombia's chief prosecutor ordered the arrest of one of President Alvaro Uribe's most intimate allies on Tuesday, bringing a scandal linking politicians and right-wing militias deeper into the president's inner circle.

Former Sen. Mario Uribe, a second cousin of the president, was accused of criminal conspiracy for "agreements to promote illegal armed groups."

Mario Uribe quickly entered Costa Rica's embassy to request political asylum, his attorney Jose del Carmen Ortega told The Associated Press.

We've made no secret that it's downright offensive that the U.S. is even considering an FTA with this country, and chronicled the many reasons right here at Eyes on Trade. More fuel for the fire...

Other good coverage of this developing story is at Reuters and the New York Times.

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