Alejandro Ordonez, Colombia’s Inspector General, announced to Congress that there are currently 48,000 government officials being investigated for corruption.
More than 800 mayors and more than 30 governors are being investigated for corruption, due to complaints from the citizenry, reported newspaper El Espectador.
The Inspector General also said that research would be undertaken for over 70 cases “emblematic” of corruption that have occurred at the national, departmental and municipal levels, in order to foward disciplinary sanctions in real time (ie. during the officials’ current time being served in office).
Ordonez also announced that he would advance forfeiture on cases that fail to achieve convictions, a measure that he called a “struggle against corruption”.
He noted that in his eight months as Inspector General, he has had about twenty people come to express their desire to report corruption but with the fear of being killed. For Ordonez, it is essential that the authorities provide appropriate security measures so that citizens can present their grievances without fearing for their lives.
Ordonez rued that in Colombia “there is a cultural element that leads to justifying acts of corruption because people believe that there is the possibility of enriching themselves – and this must be done, and done fast – we have lost the notion of authority with service.”
There have been a number of high-profile arrests of government officials recently, from the Conservative Party vice president to politicians on trial for colluding with paramilitary warlords such as ‘El Aleman’, and many more.