Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office wants the OAS to revoke the diplomatic immunity of officials suspected of involvement in the misallocation of government agricultural subsidies.
The authorities accuse staff from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), part of the OAS, of negligence for allegedly allowing the Agriculture Ministry to allocate funds from the Agro Ingreso Seguro (AIS) program to wealthy landowners. The scheme was designed to reduce inequality by giving subsidies to small-scale farmers.
According to Colombian Comptroller General Julio Cesar Turbay, IICA staff members failed in their duty to analyze whether candidates proposed by the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture were eligible to receive the AIS subsidies.
Two weeks ago, the Inspector General asked Colombia’s Foreign Ministry to investigate the suspected IICA’s members role in the scandal.
The Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday also announced charges against former Vice Minister of Agriculture Juan Camilo Salazar for his role in the AIS scandal, along with seven other former officials from the Agriculture Ministry.
Ex-Agricultural Ministers Andres Felipe Arias and Andres Fernandez are under investigation for their role in the scandal.