The regional committees in charge of water management in Colombia are under fire because they allegedly failed to take the necessary precautions or conduct the necessary maintenance of rivers and canals that are causing massive floods in large parts of the country.
Vice President Angelino Garzon on Sunday fiercely criticized the Regional Autonomous Corporations (CARs) and announced that he will ask the Prosecutor General’s Office to open criminal investigations against the entities for negligence as he considers it “evident” that the preventive measures taken were not sufficient.
“The tragedy has shown the failures of the institutions, in this case, of the Regional Autonomous Corporations,” said Garzon, who ordered the CARs to get into gear to avoid further tragedies.
On Sunday, newspaper El Tiempo reported that authorities have started investigations against four governors and 26 mayors for irregularities in the distribution of aid packages for victims of the rainy season. According to the daily, the country’s Inspector General’s Office is considering opening investigations against national government officials too.
So far this year, torrential rains and subsequent floods and landslides killed at least 93 Colombians and left 69,000 homeless. Five people are still missing.