The leadership of the government-repossessed Colombian health insurance company (EPS) Saludcoop has formed a union that may prevent their removal from office for the next six months.
Twenty-five Saludcoop employees closely linked to the company’s ex-president Carlos Gustavo Palacino Antia formed and registered the union Unitracoop with the Ministry of Social Protection on Friday, and in 72 hours, had already recruited 500 affiliates, local media reported Tuesday.
The move places Edgar Pabon, the man placed in charge of intervening in the powerful EPS company after the repossession, in a difficult position, as it may mean that the leadership cannot be removed from their posts anytime soon.
Palacino himself was unable to join the union because he had already left his post.
Last Friday, members of the political party Polo Democratico alleged that Palacino had illegally made donations to political parties with money embezzled from citizens during his time as head of the EPS.
Saludcoop was repossessed by the Colombian government on May 12, after irregularities were noted in the company’s financial records. The company is just one of a number being investigated in the major health care scandal that is estimated to have cost the state as much as $2.5 billion and endangered citizens’ rightful access to adequate health care.