Multiple of Colombia’s top army commanders, including the second in command of the army, are being investigated for embezzlement, weekly Semana reported Sunday.
According to the magazine, the prosecution received the testimonies of multiple military officers who worked under General Adelmo Fajardo when he was leading the army’s Education and Doctrine Command.
President Ivan Duque promoted the allegedly corrupt military commander in December to serve as second in command to National Army commander General Nicacio Martinez who is linked to at least 23 homicides.
Another commander who was promoted to the top of the military in January, General Jorge Romero, may have embezzled as much as $300 thousand (COP1 billion) when he commanded the 4th Brigade in Medellin between 2016 and 2017.
Colombia’s former defense minister admitted in April last year already that while he was in office he surrendered 21 corruption investigations to the prosecution and the Inspector General’s Office.
It is uncertain whether the alleged corruption cases involving Fajardo and Romero were part of the investigations surrendered between 2011 and 2018.
This seems to be aggravated by the fact that commanders and soldiers who blew the whistle to the press over corruption or cooperate with the country’s war crimes tribunal have received death threats.
The sad thing is that these few commanders stain the image of the country’s most important and largest institution, which is the National Army.
Before it became evident that Duque’s promotion of Martinez has caused unrest within the military, Human Rights Watch had already warned that the president was promoting commanders who were linked to war crimes.