Nineteen police officers were arrested in mass roundup of drug traffickers in Medellin this week.
The arrest of the officers is the result of a continuing offensive against corruption in Colombia’s police force. Along with the officers, 27 other individuals were also arrested.
The police involved were members, or former members, of the Candelaria police station and were in charge of controlling vice crimes in the plazas.
Investigators have accused the arrested officers of working for the Urabeños criminal organization, who paid the police to turn a blind eye to criminal activity in the plazas and for facilitating drug trafficking.
“They offered between 40,000 and 50,000 pesos for each plaza that was not being controlled. Also, to give warnings about operations,” one investigator told El Tiempo newspaper.
National Police General Rodolfo Palomino credits the recently implemented “Transparency Plan” with the success in apprehending these officers. The plan, initiated last month, is aimed at weeding out corrupt officers and officials within Colombia’s police system.
Palomino hopes that the news of theses arrests will help foster renewed faith in the Colombian police. He hopes that citizens view the arrests as a positive step towards maintaining the integrity of the police instead of just a reminder of the legacy of corruption.
After the arrests Palomino called on citizens to have complete faith in the transparency plan.
On his Twitter account he compared the corrupt officers with Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ.
“They deserve to be treated like Judas, public officials of any institution that are thrown into the maw of corruption,” he tweeted.
The officers arrested during the recent purge join more than 200 others who have been dismissed from the police force for taking part in corrupt activities.
- Caen bandas de microtráfico en Medellín: 46 capturados, 19 policías entre ellos (Blu Radio)
- Detenidos 19 policías por microtráfico en Medellín (Vanguardia)
- Capturados 19 policías en Medellín por vínculos con el “Clan Úsuga” (El Colombiano)
- Policías recibían cuota semanal por operación de ‘ollas’ (El Tiempo)