A judge on Friday ordered the arrest of two members of the powerful Vives Lacouture family who refuse to cooperate with authorities to explain how they unjustly received millions of dollars in government subsidy.
Ines Margarita and Jose Francisco Vives Lacouture refused to take part in prosecution hearings on how their family achieved to receive nearly $3 million in agricultural subsidies meant for poor farmers.
The remaining members of the family did appear and promised to return the money within 45 days.
According to newspaper El Espectador, authorities in the Magdalena department are actively searching for the two.
The subsidy the family received was part of the Agro Ingreso Seguro, a government program to subsidize poor farmers. Instead of being given to poor farmers to stimulate their businesses, the money went to numerous wealthy and politically powerful families, mostly in the north of Colombia.
The scandal has implicated numerous wealthy families and high officials from the Uribe government. Two former agriculture ministers are currently under criminal investigation and had their assets seized in the course of the investigation.
The Vivez Lacouture family is one of the most powerful families in the Magdalena department. One of the family members, Luis Eduardo, is currently in jail for ties to paramilitary death squads.