Former rebel ahead in Bogota mayor's election

Associated Press

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Early returns in Colombia's regional and municipal elections show a former leftist rebel and anti-corruption crusader leading the race for mayor of the national capital of Bogota.

Gustavo Petro was ahead of former Mayor Enrique Penalosa by 32 percent to 26 percent with 5 percent of the vote counted Sunday.

Petro has been a key player in Colombia's recent history. His denunciations as a senator of close ties between provincial politicians and right-wing death squads spurred an investigation that landed dozens of politicians in prison.

The 51-year-old Petro belonged to the M-19 rebel group, which made peace with the government in 1990.

He has spent most of the past two decades in Congress.

(This version CORRECTS year of M-19's peace with government to 1990 instead of 1989.)

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