Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has been forced to pay more than $57 million compensation in the first six months of 2012, in almost all cases for unlawful detainment, local media reported Friday.
According to the Juridical office of the Prosecutor General, until June this year the institution was subject to 614 sentences with the combined worth of $57.35 million to be paid to claimants.
In one of the most widely publicized cases, Sigifredo Lopez, an ex-politician from the Valle del Cauca department and a former FARC hostage, sued the Prosecutor General for accusing him of being a FARC collaborator.
The Prosecutor General is only superseded by the Ministry of Defense when it comes to legal demands from citizens.
Radio station Santa Fe reported the continuous lawsuits were starting to put “serious strains” on the finances of the Colombian state.
Ex-prosecutor Guillermo Mendoza claimed many of the lawsuits were a part of a systematic conspiracy to pressure money from the state.
“We know there is a [systematic abuse] of testimonies and effectively some are declaring [before the court] just to receive process benefits in their cases or at times malign things, like economic benefits or personal revenge, [we know this practice] exists,” said Mendoza.