Charges were brought against Cartagena Mayor Judith Pinedo Florez by the Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday for selling a government-owned beach to a hotel.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has called on the mayor to attend a judicial hearing to answer to charges for the crime of embezzlement.
Congressman William Garcia Tirado, who originally accused the mayor of selling over 2,500 square feet of the beach to hotel Dann Las Velas in 2009 without meeting necessary legal conditions, said that Pinedo had violated a national law stating that beaches are the property of all Colombians and cannot be sold for private use.
Tirado added that Pinedo could be sent to prison for between six and 15 years for this act, according to newspaper El Espectador.
Pinedo defended herself, stating that at the time of initiating the sale process she believed that the beach was in fact an abandoned lot consigned to the public for 10 years, rather than a beach, reported RCN Radio.
Although Tirado accorded with this, stating, “Pinedo thought at the time that this was an undeveloped zone, received in a district agreement,” he also added, “that beach was not private … the most important thing is that beaches must be returned … to all Colombians.”