The prosecutor general will open a new investigation into former Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias, for allegedly making suspicious amendments to requirements for holding a ministry position.
Amid an ongoing corruption investigation into the former minister, the anti-corruption unit of the Prosecutor General’s Office will open a new investigation into Arias for allegedly amending the Manual of Special Functions and Labor Competencies in order to appoint now-jailed Juan David Ortega as the ministry’s secretary general.
According to Caracol Radio, reports state that Arias amended the manual’s Resolution 171 to make a social work degree a qualifying factor for the position of Secretary General of the Ministry, a position that Ortega was given 19 days later.
Before the amendment, the required fields of study for this position were law, economics, public administration, business administration, finance administration and industrial engineering.
The former minister, who was responsible for overseeing the AIS (Agro Ingreso Seguro) program, is currently being investigated by a number of government agencies for alleged involvement in giving the program’s government subsidies, intended for poor farmers, to wealthy political allies in return for campaign contributions.
The assets of the former agriculture minister were seized by the comptroller general in February of 2011.
Former Secretary General Ortega was also implicated, and sent to jail, in the widespread scandal that involved figures including the former Miss Colombia Valerie Dominguez.
Arias’ chosen secretary general was, according to Caracol, the most recent former Agriculture Ministry official to be sent to jail for the AIS scandal.