The engineer investigating faulty construction methods in Medellin that has defrauded 3,000 locals has fled to the United States after receiving numerous threats related to his investigative work.
Roberto Rochel, an engineer by trade, was investigating building projects preformed by CDO, a Colombian construction company responsible for the collapse of the Space building nearly a year ago, killing 12 people.
“Never in my professional life have I been attacked nor have I attacked anyone. Instead they (the intimidators) have rallied against me. This is a very bad antecedent, and it was made clear to me in a meeting in [the town of] Copacabana where people from the CDO tried to get it in, shouting very insulting words,” Rochel told radio station Caracol.
Without naming his intimidators directly, Rochel said that people at CDO’s high levels are surely those responsible for the influx of threats against him and his family.
Rochel turned down protection from the Colombian government, and moved himself and his family to the United States instead.
CDO is owned by Alvaro Villegas, a former mayor of Medellin and ex-governor of the Antioquia state, whose son is under investigation for the fatal collapse.