“Corruption cost Colombia’s peace process $119M”


Corrupt officials and lawmakers received almost $119 million (COP500 billion) in kickbacks from funds meant for Colombia’s peace process, according to Blu Radio.

The scandal involved funds that were meant for peace projects in priority regions that have been ravaged by the armed conflict.

The corruption scheme allegedly impeded the implementation of peace projects in one third of the 170 so-called PDET municipalities.

More than two dozen mayors complained that they paid kickbacks in order to have projects approved by the Comptroller General’s Office, which is supposed to investigate corruption.

Conservative Party senators and house representatives allegedly charged mayors a fee to secure the approval of peace projects and the transfer of funds from Colombia’s royalties fund.

According to Blu Radio, the mayors lodged complaints with the prosecution, the Inspector General’s Office and the National Planning Department, but without results.

Emilio Archila, the former manager of Colombia’s peace process, reportedly requested the removal of former royalties chief and candidate comptroller general Andres Avila on multiple occasions for allegedly blocking the transfer of the peace funds.

Comptroller General Felipe Cordoba denied any irregularities in the approval of peace projects in response to the allegations.

Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa, one of Cordoba’s best friends, has yet to confirm whether or not his office opened a criminal investigation into the alleged embezzlement of peace funds.

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