Colombia’s Inspector General will investigate the commander of the National Army after the general attacked a presidential candidate on Twitter, according to newspaper El Espectador.
The preliminary investigation against General Eduardo Zapateiro is due to a tirade against opposition candidate Gustavo Petro, which was a blatant violation of the constitution, according to multiple legal experts.
According to Colombia’s constitution, state officials may not interfere in electoral politics.
This ban is particularly strict for active members of the security forces, who aren’t even allowed to vote.
Members of the Public Force may not vote while on active duty, nor take part in activities or debates of political parties or movements.
Article 219 of Colombia’s constitution
Zapateiro ignored this constitutional ban on Friday after Petro criticized corruption in the top of the military at one of the campaign rallies of the candidate who is leading in the polls.
The army commander responded on Twitter with a so-called thread of six messages in which he, among other things, revived an accusation over illegal campaign funds that was debunked by the Supreme Court years ago.
Political allies and rivals of Petro condemned Zapateiro with the exception of establishment candidate Federico Gutierrez, who expressed his support for the armed forces.
Zapateiro’s words are unacceptable. Not only has the participation of government officials in politics been normalized, but the Armed Forces have been politicized. This is not the way!
Presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo
Senator Roy Barreras, one of Petro’s closest allies, announced legal action against the army commander.
Anti-corruption activists and opposition politicians had already announced lawsuits against Duque for his allegedly illegal attempts to influence the elections.
If Inspector General Margarita Cabello confirms that the army commander violated the constitution, she has the authority to suspend the general.
According to the Inspector General’s Office, more than 520 state officials are being investigated for their allegedly illegal interference in the electoral process.