Former Miss Colombia Valerie Dominguez is one of 22 people who could be sent to jail for allegedly receiving government agricultural subsidies intended for poor farmers in the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS) scandal, reports newspaper El Espectador.
Dominguez, who owns a jewelry business, reportedly received $163,000 (COP306 million) tax-free for an “irrigation and drainage” project.
The former beauty queen and her boyfriend’s family, the prominent Davila’s from the Magdalena department, reportedly embezzled $1.5 Million (COP 2700 Million) from the government-funded subsidy program without having the proper legal qualifications to do so, Prosecutor General Viviane Morales announced Monday.
The Agro Ingreso Seguro program took place under then-Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias under the Uribe administration, and was intended to decrease rural inequality by granting subsidies to peasant farmers. Former administration officials are accused of corrupting the process by giving these government funds to wealthy land owners, beauty queens and political allies.
Dominguez’s relatives, the Davila family from the northeastern Magdalena department, are accused of benefiting from the scandal, as is the Lacouture family from Valle del Cauca in western Colombia. Luis Eduardo Vives Lacouture was convicted and sentenced to house arrest for paramilitary ties.
Seven former government officials including Ex-Vice Minister of Agriculture Juan Camilo Salazar Rueda are also being investigated.