Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office started an investigation against officials whose alleged negligence or corruption may have contributed to catastrophic floods that hit vast regions in the country.
According to outgoing Prosecutor General Guillermo Mendoza, his office will investigate an unspecified number of governors and mayors and the directors of the Autonomous Regional Corporations of the departments of Valle del Cauca, Sucre, Bolivar, Magdalena and Atlantico.
The Autonomous Regional Corporations are government bodies that manage the budgets for infrastructure and water management in their region.
“All officials who have some responsibility for the maintenance of all these canals, irrigation systems and prevention mechanisms, will be investigated by the prosecution to establish their responsibility” Mendoza told press, adding that “when one is part of a body of this nature, one is obliged to maintain the continuity of programs and investments in such a way that the money is not wasted in bureaucracy, for example.”
Colombia is suffering the longest and most catastrophic rainy season in recorded history. The floods and landslides resulting from the rains have killed over 270 people already and are affecting more than 2 million people. The government estimates that the floods have caused at least $5.2 billion in damage.