Colombia’s prosecutor general has opened 156 corruption cases against politicians, judges and prosecutors since taking office in July last year, reported newspaper El Tiempo on Saturday.
The newspaper did not report how many alleged corrupt officials were already under investigation before Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez took office in July last year.
Among those recently charged are members of the Supreme Court, senators, former ministers, governors, presidential campaign workers, mayors and local lawmakers, El Tiempo reported.
The political party hardest hit by corruption charges is President Juan Manuel Santos’ U Party, followed by Radical Change of former President German Vargas, the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party, according to prosecution data obtained by the newspaper.
The party least investigated for corruption is the socialist opposition party Democratic Pole.
Martinez, a founding member of Radical Change who has been criticized for his close ties to investigated engineering firm Odebrecht, said no political party could cast the first stone.
Since we began the fight against corruption it has become evident that this is systemic in Colombia.
Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez
The prosecutor general was embarrassed in June when the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sent evidence of Martinez’ own anti-corruption czar had been negotiating bribes between the Supreme Court and investigated congressmen.
Before that, the chief prosecutor was already investigating the biggest corruption scandal in Colombia’s history that saw the embezzlement of billions of dollars from oil refinery Reficar.
The ongoing corruption allegations have eroded public confidence in the country’s democratic system and the country’s political parties.