An investigative commission from the Colombian House of Representatives claimed Thursday to have uncovered the origins of leaks that broke a recent military corruption scandal, reported national media.
Congressman Jorge Gomez Villamizar of the House Accusation Commission said that audio recordings exposing an extensive corruption ring within the Colombian National Army were not released by Congress, as had been suggested, but by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Last weekend, the Semana Magazine published a story that implicated many top military officers in the embezzlement of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Hundreds of hours of audio recordings documented military officers diverting as much as 50% of an individual contracts total value into their personal coffers said Semana.
The appropriated funds were intended for military munitions and soldiers’ salaries, but in many cases, ended up going to the families of soldiers convicted of “false positives,” a military practice in which civilians were murdered and dressed in rebel militants’ uniforms in order to increase kill counts.
The embezzlement accusations reported last week added to the national ire produced by another recent scandal also reported in Semana, in which it was revealed that military intelligence officials had been spying on government and FARC negotiators during ongoing peace talks in Cuba, along with journalists covering the peace talks and legislators with access to preliminary peace legislation.
So far it is unclear who in the Prosecutor General’s Office released information to the magazine regarding the corruption scandal.