Statistics revealed Tuesday that some COP3.9 trillion embezzled through corruption in Colombia could have paid for 80,000 young Colombians to go to university.
The statistics, revealed by Colombia’s Inspector General and the Anti-Corruption Office ahead of Wednesday’s Anti-Corruption day, show that COP3.9 trillion pilfered through corrupt contracting processes could have funded 10 university semesters for 80,000 Colombian students at COP5 million per semester.
According to authorities, the stolen cash could further have provided housing subsidies for 347,000 poor families or covered the schooling costs for 325,000 children, reported newspaper El Tiempo Wednesday. The newspaper did not specify the period ot time over which the money was embezzled.
The figure of COP3.9 billion lost in corruption was determined through an inquiry by the organization Transparency for Colombia and the External University which investigated some 560 employers contracted by the State.
According to Oscar Ortiz, of the Anti-Corruption Office, an estimated 12.9% of the COP30 trillion worth of contracts run by the nation, are being recruited in bribe payments. Only 8% of those who know of corruption taking place are prepared to report it, explained Ortiz.
Ortiz said that today that the “corruption is sophisticated” because “the trend is to intervene with financial operations, the management of financial surpluses as well as trust deeds and autonomous equities.”
The Inspector General, Alejandro Ordoñez, stressed Tuesday that “corruption is on the verge of turning Colombia into an unfeasible nation.”
El Tiempo reported that several municipalities, departments and organizations such as the National Narcotics Directorate have lost over COP100 billion which was distributed among various individuals.
In the investigation into these losses the prosecution recently ordered the arrest of former treasurers Villavicencio Miguel Gonzalez Roncancio and Augustin Hortua Rodriguez as responsible for the loss of COP30 billion in the department of Meta.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, stressed that corruption not only affected the development of the nation in question but also the state of its very democracy.
“Corruption manipulates elections, undermines the rule of law and endangers the security … it can also seriously affect the international financial system,” explained Moon. Moon furthered predicted that sanctions would be issued against states that do not fight this problem.