Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Andres Gonzalez, has been linked to a corruption scandal over the fraudulent granting of public works projects in the country’s capital Bogota, Noticias Uno reported Sunday.
According to the newscast, both Gonzalez and Colombia’s ambassador to Panama, Angela Benedetti, are under investigated for their alleged involvement in what’s been called the “contract carousel,” a corruption scandal involving the payment of major bribes to politicians and administration officials in return to the granting of large public works projects to companies.
An unidentified witness in the case reportedly said that Gonzalez illegally received more than $250,000 in cash to finance his successful 2007 campaign to become governor of the Cundinamarca.
Benedetti, the sister of Senator Armando Benedetti, allegedly received little more than $50,000 in cash for her campaign for the Bogota council in the same year.
The witness testimony reportedly was corroborated by surveillance camera footage showing the two politicians entering and leaving the building just before one of the contractors involved in the scandal.
The scandal has already led to the suspension and subsequent incarceration of former Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno and his brother Ivan, who was senator at the time.
The carousel assured that, in return for bribes, construction companies were guaranteed the granting of major public works contract like the construction of the extension of Bogota’s mass transit system, the Transmilenio.
The report of the ambassadors’ implication in the Bogota corruption scandal comes exactly a week after Colombia’s ambassador to the United States was implicated in a scandal involving massive land theft.