The prosecutor for Colombia’s anti-narcotics unit (UNAIM) resigned Thursday after claiming that she did not receive the full support of the prosecutor general in the cases she handled.
In her resignation letter, Ana Margarita Duran stated, “I don’t have the support of the Prosecutor General’s Office to proceed with investigations,” reported El Espectador Friday.
In addition, Duran expressed her surprise at being removed from potentially sensitive cases, highlighting the investigations she was carrying out against 13 lawmakers accused of corruption in the handling of assets seized by the drug enforcement agency (DNE).
Prosecutor General Viviane Morales responded immediately to the letter, labelling Duran a “liar.”
“There has been no change in priority on the issue of the DNE, but it is instead being studied due to inefficiencies in that [Duran’s] investigation,” Morales said.
Duran also claimed that she had not been properly protected after being the subject of an assassination plot worth $500,000 orchestrated by Colombian drug lord Daniel “El Loco” Barrera. The plot was uncovered by the U.S.’ Drug Enforcement Administration.
Morales similarly refuted these accusations, saying that no protection had been removed from Duran adding that it had been her who had refused protection from the Technical Investigation Team (CTI) of the Prosecutor General’s Office in the first place.
It was learned last month that Duran is now in the U.S. for her protection, apparently upon the advice of Morales.
The prosecutor general has been quick to replace Duran, appointing Juan Carlos Acevedo Vanegas as the new lead prosecutor for UNAIM, Caracol Radio reports.
In his first interview since receiving his new position, Acevedo told media that Duran’s accusations are false, stating that she was never directly in charge of investigating corruption under the DNE and that she had been “kindly offered the services of the CTI” for her protection, only to refuse in favor of using police protection instead.