Prosecutors said Monday they are investigating the governor of Colombia’s most northern department, La Guajira, for his alleged role in the killings of an indigenous leader and a former mayor.
According to allegations made Sunday in weekly Semana, Governor Juan Francisco Gomez is a prominent member of a criminal organization and responsible for the murder of Yandra Brito, the former mayor of Barrancas, and that of Martha Dinora Chachi, an indigenous leader and sister of the former mayor of Maicao.
According to Semana, the two homicides were ordered by the governor.
Additionally, the weekly published documents by the Colombian tax revenue office, linking the politician to neo-paramilitary groups dedicated to drug trafficking and the smuggling of gasoline and contraband.
“The rise to departmental power of persons like Juan Francisco ‘Kiko’ Gomez Cerchar in the Governor’s Office — who is accused of having ties to contraband, the smuggling of gasoline and drug trafficking — demands attention.”
In an initial response, the governor denied the accusations and announced a press conference as soon as he returns from a trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba.
Authorities on Monday morning had not authorized an arrest warrant for the governor.
The governor of La Guajira is not the first to be linked to criminal organizations. Dozens of former governors are investigated for ties to primarily right-wing paramilitary groups and at least five are in prison.