Current Social Welfare Minister Diego Palacio was involved in
securing the Congress approval of the 2006 re-election of Colombian
President Alvaro Uribe. Two Congressmen were convicted because they
were bribed to assure this approval.
In the text of the conviction of former Congressman Teodolindo Avendaño, the Court mentions a meeting Palacio had with Avendaño less than 24 hours before the vote. The lawmaker, who had been a vociferous opponent of the re-election — disappeared during this vote.
A second lawmaker, Yidis Medina, surprisingly voted in favor of the constitutional change.Because of the change of heart of Medina and the disappearing of Avendaño, the constitutional change was passed. Both lawmakers are now convicted for having accepted bribes.
Palacio has always denied involvement in the bribery and says he never met with Congressmen to discuss the re-ekection bill.