Kidnapping Of Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla

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On April 30, 1984 in Bogota, Colombia, the violent ambush and assassination of Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla sent a chilling political message – violence would be employed against anyone who supported reforms against the illicit narcotics trade. Before his death, Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla was one of the first politicians who voiced opposition to the exploding drug trade involving cocaine. The cycle of targeted violence returned only a couple of years later, on November 17, 1986, when a former chief of the anti-narcotics police force, Colonel Jaime Ramirez Gomez, was brutally murdered while traveling in a vehicle with his family. This public figure had not only shut down one of the biggest cocaine producing plants (at the time) but was set to testify in a tribunal to implicate Pablo Escobar in the murder of Justice Minister Bonilla. Then in 1989, Luis Carlos Galan, a Colombian presidential candidate who denounced the criminal ventures of the cartels, was gunned down at his political rally. During his campaign, he fatefully challenged the likes of Pablo Escobar, by promising to institute extradition laws of drug traffickers to the United States. The pattern of calculated violence towards these prominent political figures, who supported justice reforms against drug traffickers, exemplified the extreme measures that the Medellin Cartel used to exact revenge on public dissenters. The drug cartels publicly executed political figure heads, typically in

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