Colombia investigating 100,000 state corruption cases

Colombia’s prosecution’s office is carrying out 100,000 cases of state corruption, including corruption practices allegedly carried out by 20 of the country’s 32 governors, the chief prosecutor said Wednesday.

According to Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez, his office has files on 100,848 cases of corruption in which state entities are allegedly involved.

Last year, the Inspector General said that government corruption costs approximately 10% of the government’s annual budget.

Among the investigations are files on 20 governors and almost a quarter of Colombia’s approximately 1,000 mayors.

Colombia’s chief prosecutor made the claims at an anti-corruption forum held in the Bogota organized by newspaper El Tiempo.

At the forum, Martinez stressed that corruption is “a phenomenon that does not just affect the public sector, but also the private sector,” for example through price-fixing by business cartels.

Event the Prosecutor General’s Office is affected as was proven by the arrest of 15 prosecution employees in the southwest of the country who allegedly were working for a local drug lord.

Martinez himself has also come under criticism. Before assuming the position of Prosecutor General, he had, among others offered legal advise to Brazilian multinational Odebrecht that is currently in the eye of a major bribery storm.

Colombia Reports | Adriaan Alsema

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