The public prosecutor said the former governor Oneida Pinto was moved because of risks of trial manipulation and alterations due to policial influence wielded by the disgraced former public servant in the the northern Guajira province.
Pinto was arrested earlier this year in Bogota on charges that her political campaign formed a “criminal enterprise” to embezzle $6.2 million in medical funds earmarked to combat an ongoing epidemic of child mortality in the province to support her campaign for governor.
In 2012, Pinto as mayor added $3.9 million to a program to supposedly curb child mortality. Investigators said that her team designated 10 coordinators who subcontracted out to around 1,600 people. These people, who lacked professional qualifications, each received around $400.
There is no documentation showing that the investment in health and nutrition was actually ever seen by children in the municipality.
The former mayor must now respond to a judge for crimes of contract irregularities, illicit appropriation, and falsification of public and private documentation.
Former governor of province with highest child mortality rate in Colombia arrested for stealing funds to curb child mortality
According to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, more than 4,500 children of the indigenous community Wayuu died of malnutrition between 2008 and 2016, in an ongoing epidemic.
According to local media Caracol, 21 children have already died in the course of 2017.
The Guajira province is plagued by deep ongoing political corruption and instability. Pinto’s predecessor as governor Francisco “Kiko” Gomez is serving a 55-year prison sentence after being convicted for a triple homicide, while her successor Wilmer Gonzalez was also arrested for campaign corruption.