The Supreme Court had urged Duque last month to quickly surrender a shortlist of three candidates after evidence indicated that chief prosecutor, Nestor Humberto Martinez, could have tried to cover up the multi-million dollar bribes from the Brazilian engineering firm to a plethora of Colombian politicians.
Duque chose Gilberto Orozco, Uribe’s former justice vice-minister, to replace magistrate Maria Cabello who dropped out almost immediately after she appeared on Duque’s initial shortlist last week.
Incluí en la terna para Fiscal ad hoc a Gilberto Orozco Orozco, abogado de la Universidad Libre, con experiencia en la rama judicial como Magistrado y Presidente del Consejo Superior de la Judicatura, Magistrado auxiliar de la Corte Suprema de Justicia y Viceministro de Justicia.
— Iván Duque (@IvanDuque) December 10, 2018
Orozco is considered a right-wing loyalist to Uribe and Duque, whose hard-right Democratic Center party is among many that allegedly received bribes from the Brazilians.
The other remaining candidates are Clara Maria Gonzales, Duque’s judicial secretary, and Leonardo Espinoza, the dean of the Sergio Arboleda university where the president graduated law school and is described by newspaper El Tiempo as “an academic center for Uribismo.”
Duque showered with criticism
Ramiro Bejarano, a lawyer and El Espectador columnist, criticized Duque’s latest selection because “the Ultra-Uribista University Sergio Arboleda will have the voice” during the investigation of its implicated political patrons.
@IvanDuque no acierta una. Ahora al ternar a Gilberto Orozco reiteró que será la ultrauribista universidad Sergio Arboleda la que tendrá la voz cantante en la Fiscalía. Más politización para la Fiscalía.
— Ramiro Bejarano G (@RamiroBejaranoG) December 10, 2018
Gustavo Gallon, president of the Colombian Commission of Jurists, told El Tiempo that despite Duque’s candidates’ evident political bias, the larger problem is that the scandal all but destroyed the “credibility of the Prosecutors Office.”
Gallon suggested to electing “a new Prosecutor General, free from all suspicions,” rather than a special prosecutor.
Augusto Ocampo pointed out on Twitter “that Orozco is a family member of the lawyer who has filed a criminal complaint against Gustavo Petro,” one of Colombia’s most prominent opposition leader.
Nuevo ternado Gilberto Orozco es familiar de la abogada que tiene denunciado penalmente @petrogustavo…
— AUGUSTO A OCAMPO (@AUGUSTOOCAMPO) December 10, 2018
Another lawyer, Roberto Uribe, pointed out that Orozco’s Twitter is filled with support and retweets for President Duque, who visited Odebrecht in Brazil in 2014 months before his party received illegal donations from the company.
Miro TL de la cuenta del nuevo ternado a fiscal ad-hoc Gilberto Orozco Orozco @Gilberto_Orozco y casi todos sus trinos son dando RT a los de @IvanDuque e @infopresidencia. O sea es un incondicional del presidente. @cuervoji @RodrigoUprimny @rabodeajip @germanayalaosor
— Roberto Uribe (@roures1) December 10, 2018
If Orozco accepts the nomination, the Supreme court will meet later this week to decide which of the candidates should oversee the investigations that have been bogged down by the alleged involvement of the chief prosecutor or whether Duque will have to return to the drawing board.