The election of Colombia’s Inspector General, the chief investigator of corruption within government and congress, is being tarnished by cronyism accusations.
According to several government watchdogs, sitting Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez has granted jobs within his office to dozens of family members of senators, Constitutional Court and Supreme court magistrates and members of the Council of State, allegedly to secure his reelection later this week.
Ordoñez, first elected in 2009, is seeking to be reelected by Congress this week; an election which according to some Colombian media has been in the pocket for weeks.
The sitting IG has been put on a shortlist of three candidates compiled by the Presidency, Congress and Supreme Court.
According to newscast Noticias Uno, the Supreme Court proposed Ordoñez for the shortlist after the Inspector General granted jobs to 21 friends and family members of seven members of the Council of State, two magistrates of the Constitutional Court, six magistrates or ex magistrates of the Supreme Court and one magistrate of the Superior Judicial Council.
The final decision on who will be in charge of the disciplinary investigations against senators and public officials lies with the Senate. According to Noticias Uno, 31 senators and nine ex-senators have friends and family who were given positions in the Inspector General’s Office ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Civilian watchdog organizations have filed a formal complaint with the Supreme Court accusing Ordoñez of buying his election.
The Inspector General has been the subject of several controversies since his first election: Ordoñez barred opposition senator Piedad Cordoba from holding public office over her alleged ties to rebel group FARC using evidence that had been declared inadmissable by the Supreme Court. He absolved former ministers of charges of bribing congressmen while dismissing the congressman for accepting the bribes and has been reprimanded by the Constitutional Court for stating that the morning-after pill is abortion and that sexual education campaigns were “”mass campaigns to promote abortion as a right.”