Corrupt government officials in Colombia have received some COP4 trillion (US$2 billion) in bribes in 2009, anti-corruption czar Oscar Ortiz Gonzalez, said in an interview published on Sunday.
According to Ortiz, the corrupt officials on average receive 12.9% of the value of state contracts in bribes. “Applying that percentage to the National Investment Budget of 2009, which was 30 trillion pesos, the result is 3.9 trillion pesos,” the official told newspaper El Tiempo.
Ortiz stressed that corruption “is very grave in any society, but in ours it’s a disaster. With 3.9 trillion pesos, 2,000 sewer systems and 1,800 water supply systems could be built. The education for 325 thousand children could be paid for, or 347 families could benefit from individual housing subsidies.”
According to the anti-corruption czar, corruption has a hold in all layers and branches of the Colombian State and corrupt officials enjoy a high level of impunity.