Three army officers have been removed from their posts at the Tolemaida military base, following preliminary investigations into the alleged ‘special treatment’ of imprisoned officers and the escape attempt by former major Cesar Alonso Maldonado before his subsequent recapture Wednesday.
The military have further stated that the evidence collected over the last 24 hours by army inspector General Rafael Gonzales will determine what role senior officers played in the scandal and their responsibility for the allegations, reports Caracol.
Ex-majors Cesar Alonso Maldonado and Juan Carlos Rodriguez Agudelo, alias “Zeus,” are among the highest profile inmates who have supposedly been allowed to hold parties and invite prostitutes to the base.
Rodriguez, who is thought to be the former head of security for narco-trafficker Diego Leon Montoya, alias “Don Diego,” lived in a private hut apart from the other inmates where he could consume alcohol with the women who apparently “lodged” there, according to El Liberal.
The investigators are also seeking to establish who collaborated in the escape of Maldonado, which only lasted for twelve hours before a group of military and police were able to trace his cell phone and track him down.
Ex-congressman Wilson Borja, the leftist politician who Maldonado had attempted to assassinate in 2000, has expressed his skepticism over the supposed escape, labelling it a “publicity stunt.” His comments are seemingly supported by the fact that Maldonado never escaped the military base and was eventually recaptured within the territorial limits.
Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera has emphatically denied these accusations, however, insisting that the speedy recapture was due to the excellent work of his men, he told LaFm.
Rivera moved to allay any remaining doubts by further stating that investigations have been advancing from the moment he knew of the “internal escape” and that thorough reviews of security and discipline in prisons are already underway.
Maldonado, including the four other inmates who were intended be moved with him before his attempted escape, have now been successfully transferred to the “La Picota” prison, with Maldonado being kept in maximum security wing. Rodriguez had already been moved there by the time of the escape attempt.