Colombia’s Inspector General announced to investigate some of the alleged corruption inside the agency in charge of protecting prominent Colombians and participants in an ongoing peace process.
In a statement, the Inspector General’s Office said that it would open three corruption investigations into the National Protection Unit (UNP).
The Inspector General’s Office ignored evidence of corruption in the UNP exposed by the Comptroller General’s Office.
The fake security racket
The Inspector General’s Office announced investigations into two contracts with private security firm Neostar Seguridad of businessman Alan Perlman regarding the rental of five armored vehicles.
The investigation followed complaints by UNP director Augusto Rodriguez, who said in December that “at least 10” rentals lacked the armor the UNP was paying for.
The Inspector General’s Office said that it would investigate the UNP’s former deputy director Ronald Rodriguez, former armored vehicles coordinator Luis Ignacio Acosta, former legal chief Mariantonia Orozco and the agency’s current Internal Control chief.
The four suspects allegedly failed to revoke the contracts that were flagged by the Comptroller General’s Office because of irregularities in November 2020.
Cocaine and bribes
Rodriguez is facing a second corruption investigation after authorities found 168 kilograms of cocaine in the armored car of the former UNP deputy director in December.
Former UNP employee Manuel Antonio Castañeda, who was driving the vehicle at the time, was jailed on drug trafficking charges.
The Inspector General announced a third investigation into UNP official Wilson Javier Devia, who allegedly appointed bodyguards and armored cars to anyone who bribed him.
What about the rest?
The Inspector General’s Office announced no investigation into former UNP director Pablo Elias Gonzalez, who appointed Orozco a week after she signed the Neostar contracts and resigned “for personal reasons” in February 2020 amid mounting corruption allegations.
Investigation into possible corruption in the granting of contracts to “Transportes Especiales ACAR,” “Renting Blindado,” “Royal Rent Corp,” “UT Convencionales,” “Toyorentacar” and “Union Temporal Proteccion 2019” that were flagged by the Comptroller General’s Office were also not announced.
The Inspector General also announced no investigation into the $37 thousand that was paid to four bodyguards for nothing and the missing paperwork on 14 suspicious labor contracts that cost $416,806.
Last but not least, the Inspector General failed to mention the UNP’s “lack of action” to effectively protect human rights defenders and community leaders, which was criticized by the Comptroller General’s Office.