Colombia’s congress’ phone and internet cut off for not paying the bills

Colombia's capitol building in Bogota. (Image credit: Wesley Tomaselli)

Colombia’s Congress was left without internet and phone on Friday after the country’s legislative body failed to pay its utility bills.

The latest embarrassment of what is widely perceived as Colombia’s most corrupt institution was discovered by RCN Radio when it called the House of Representatives for an interview with a lawmaker.

Instead of being transferred to the office of the representative, the radio station received an automated message indicating that services had been cut off due to Congress’ failure to pay its phone bill.

You have contacted the honorable House of Representatives. We regret not being able to attend your call. Services are currently temporarily suspended as a result of non-payment. Thank you very much.

House of Representatives’ answering machine

The administrative director of the House, Carolina Carrillo, told RCN Radio that the administration of President Ivan Duque, which took office in August, had failed to assign the necessary funds to pay the public utilities bill.

“The services were cut off this morning because the Annual Cash Plan of the Finance Ministry we had been assigned was not sufficient to cover the phone bill,” Carrillo told the radio station.

According to the administrative official, the “the finance ministry now has approved the budget to reestablish the service immediately.”

Colombia Reports called the Senate and the House of Representatives on Saturday and was able to verify that the phone service had effectively been reestablished.

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