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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State of Emergency Set for Colombia

BOGOTA -- Colombian President Ernesto Samper's government has decided to declare a state of emergency for "national security reasons," the Caracol radio network reported Wednesday.

The radio report, which could not be immediately confirmed, linked the state of emergency to a variety of security threats and law-and-order problems facing the violence-torn country like the recent escape of a Marxist guerrilla leader.

Caracol also said the government was considering lifting a consitutional ban on the extradition of drug traffickers if they were found to be carrying out trafficking from inside the country's prisons.

On Tuesday, the country's political crisis deepened further with the arrest of former defense minister Fernando Botero on charges he sought millions of dollars from drug traffickers to finance the president's election campaign.

Botero, who not only managed the president's campaign last year but was also one of his closest political allies, was taken into custody after appearing with a lawyer at the prosecutor general's office in Bogota.