Colombia’s Supreme Court elects new chief prosecutor

Nestor Humberto Martinez (Image credit: La FM)

Colombia’s Supreme Court elected the prosecutor general who will be responsible for the country’s fight against crime in the years following a peace deal with leftist FARC rebels.

The new prosecutor general, former Minister Nestor Humberto Martinez, has long enjoyed close ties to Colombia’s business and political elite.

Martinez has been a member of four of the past five administrations and the legal representative of some of Colombia’s largest corporations.

The new prosecutor general is a personal friend of President Juan Manuel Santos and Vice-President German Vargas, who is tipped as one of the favorites of succeeding Santos in 2018.

Martinez also has cordial relations with former President Alvaro Uribe, who has long claimed to be the victim of a political persecution by Martinez’ predecessor after the imprisonment of numerous allies on charges of corruption or ties to death squads.

The newly elected chief prosecutor general was put in charge of the Prosecutor General’s Office just as the judicial body began putting together criminal investigations of war crimes allegedly committed by guerrillas and state officials.

These war crime allegations are expected to be tried before a transitional justice tribunal in the event the FARC and the Santos administration sign peace.

Martinez will also have to oversee ongoing investigations of organized crime and paramilitary successor groups running Colombia’s massive drug trafficking industry.

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