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Former Bogota mayor jailed for corruption

Former Bogota Mayor Moreno was denied bail

Suspended Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno is the latest high-profile Colombian official to be to be imprisoned for alleged corruption.

On trial for accepting bribes from contractors on public works contracts, Moreno, 51, was deemed to be a flight risk and locked up in Bogota’s high-security La Picota prison.

The grandson of Colombian army general and strongman Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, Moreno was three years into his term when suspended by the inspector general in May. President Juan Manuel Santos appointed Clara Lopez to serve out Moreno’s term, which ends Dec. 31.

The charges involve a multimillion-dollar contract to Grupo Nule for a new road from central Bogota to El Dorado International Airport, one of the largest public works projects in the country. Construction has already been plagued by delays and cost overruns.

On Monday, Moreno declined to plead guilty in return for a lesser sentence, claiming he was innocent of the alleged scheme. His brother Ivan, a Colombian senator who also faces charges in the case, was already jailed.

In July, former Uribe administration agriculture minister Andres Felipe Arias was imprisoned on charges of funneling illegal farm subsidies in exchange for promises to support his presidential campaign.