Colombia’s prosecutor general has opened a preliminary investigation into former minister and current Conservative Party presidential hopeful Andres Felipe Arias for alleged corruption in the granting of agriculture subsidies, local media reported on Tuesday.
The former minister is suspected of having granted large amounts of government money to powerful families who sponsored the project of seeking President Alvaro Uribe’s re-election in May this year through a referendum.
The Prosecutor General’s Office will investigate these accusations and will try to establish the extent to which Arias himself was involved in the fraudulent granting of the subsidies.
The country’s inspector general previously started a disciplinary investigation into the Conservative politician for the same reason.
Arias left the Agriculture Ministry in 2008 to prepare for the presidential elections in May this year. Arias plans to run for president only if Uribe does not.