At least 10 National Police officers have shed light on an illegal network of sexual favors dating back to 2006 in one of Colombia’s police academies, according to a national television station.
One lieutenant’s death is also being investigated in relation to the discovery.
An officer wishing to remain anonymous told the Noticias Uno media channel that National Police Colonel Jerson Jair Castellanos of the Santander Police Academy “uses his power and rank” to solicit sexual favors for himself from younger officers in exchange for different perks.
Cesar Ospina, a captain at the police academy, said that he had only recently been alerted that such behavior were occurring. “[Another officer] brought to my attention that [an officer] had been asked to sustain sexual relations with the colonel for many months in order to settle up a business deal with an [expensive] car.”
Another officer was quoted saying that young cadetes had “received propositions to have sexual relations with Colonel Castellanos for sums of money ranging from $250 to $2,000.”
Colonel Castellanos, meanwhile, has claimed that the scandal is simply a “trick or ruse” that has been invented by people “envious” of his success.
Second Lieutenant Lina Zapata from the same academy died under “strange circumstances” after allegedly discovering the underground rank-based sexual network. Zapata’s mother told Noticias Uno reporters, “I am sure that this is the reason that my daughter lost her life.” Colombia Reports, however, was unable to uncover any additional information regarding Zapata’s death.
General Luz Bustos, sub-General of the National Police assured the press that a full investigation of these claims is underway. Bustos said that the Prosecutor General’s office will also be looking into this.
The academy has both male and female cadets, but so far allegations have only included males.