Colombia’s congress postponed hearings in an investigation against President Ivan Duque over his alleged involvement in a plot to rig the 2018 elections.
The House of Representatives’ Accusations Committee was supposed to begin hearings this week, but postponed hearings until after the end of a quarantine to contain the spreading of the coronavirus on April 13.
The investigation against Duque was triggered by wiretaps in which late drug money launderer Jose Guillermo Hernandez was talking about presumed vote-buying with Maria Claudia Daza, the personal assistant of former President Alvaro Uribe.
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Among those called to testify were Daza, Duque’s former campaign manager Luis Guillermo Echeverry, Interior Minister Alicia Arango and former Defense Minister Guillermo Botero.
The emergency measures to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of the pandemic severely complicated the investigations that were threatening the legitimacy of the government.
The Supreme Court, which is investigating Uribe for his alleged leading role in the conspiracy, ordered all its magistrates and employees to work from home.
Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa, a personal friend of the president, ordered potentially vulnerable prosecution officials to work from home.
The president’s rigid measures to counter the pandemic are supported by even Duque’s main critic, Senator Gustavo Petro, who lost the 2018 elections to the president in the second round.
The general consensus appears to be that a joint and coordinated effort to mitigate the imminent threat to public health is more of a priority than the investigations that won’t be going anywhere.