Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office said Monday that it has opened a disciplinary investigation into three top army generals on corruption charges.
The investigation followed less than 24 hours after weekly Semana revealed accusations that the National Army’s second in command, General Adelmo Fajardo, and former 4th Brigade commander General Jorge Romero, had been embezzling funds from the military.
The Inspector General also announced an investigation against Counterintelligence commander General Eduardo Quiroz, who allegedly has been leading a witch hunt for commanders who talked to the New York Times and other media over controversial National Army commander General Nicacio Martinez.
The control entity received information that compromised senior officials who allegedly demanded money from subordinates for the apparent financing of family trips, from individuals and businessmen for the issuance of safe-conducts, and supposed offers of millionaire prizes or extended licenses in exchange for the identities of the people who would be delivering audios and documents with information to the media.
Anonymous commander via Semana
According to weekly Semana, Fajardo and Romero were already investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The investigation against Quiroz is new and another major blow for Martinez, whose main whistleblower hunter has been exposed.
President Ivan Duque promoted Martinez in December, despite claims that the national army chief was linked to 23 cases of civilian killings, including a 13-year-old girl who was presented as a guerrilla killed in combat.
Martinez’ subsequent instruction to his subordinates to double the amount of combat kills and captures spurred major unrest among commanders, some of whom told media that they felt that the only way to comply with this order was by murdering civilians.
Many commanders and professional soldiers have seen friends and colleagues disappear behind bars for the mass killing of civilians that took place when the president’s political patron, former President Alvaro Uribe, was president, and refuse to do the same.
Colombia’s peace process, and the war crimes tribunal that is part of it, is causing additional pressure on the military; multiple soldiers who are incriminating dodgy superiors have suffered death threats and assassination attempts.