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Prison, death row (illustrative).(Photo by: INGIMAGE)
Former jailed Colombian politician escapes prison via rope and motorcycle
By ZACHARY KEYSER
10/08/2019
Merlano, 43, was permitted leave from her incarceration and the facility for a routine dentist appointment, granted she was accompanied by a prison escort to the capital city of Bogota.
Former Colombian politician Aida Merlano, who was handed down a 15 year sentence in 2018 for buying votes and the illegal possession of a firearm, escaped from prison last Tuesday afternoon.

Merlano, 43, was permitted leave from her incarceration and the facility for a routine dentist appointment, granted she was accompanied by a prison escort to the capital city of Bogota.

When it was time for Merlano's appointment, the prison guard was suggested by doctors to wait outside while the dental work was done, said General William Ruiz who is the now former director of the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute after reportedly being released of his position after the incident.

CCTV footage capturing the escape shows what appears to be Merlano climbing down a rope hanging out of the first story window, falling to ground at the end and after having been helped up by bystanders proceeded casually to a motorcycle parked a few meters away from the doctors office, being handed a helmet and then riding off into the distance.


There have been no sightings of Merlano since her disappearance - a reward of $14,000 is being offered for any information that leads to her whereabouts.

According to Sky News, she was due in court for a hearing this Tuesday to the discuss the possibility of a reduction in her sentence.

Merlano's career as a newly elected Congresswoman came under scrutiny last year after an investigation was launched by Colombian authorities, suspicious she was buying votes from the public. Authorities found over $13.5 million dollars in cash and multiple firearms at her campaign headquarters.

Subsequently, Merlano was convicted last month of using a QR code system to check and pay voters who elected her into office - she was the first Colombian politician to be convicted of buying votes.

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