Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday announced his government’s proposed policy against corruption, including heavier penalties for “white-collar thieves.”
The President called for a “national crusade” against corruption and said he will release his “watchdogs” on corrupt government officials and businessmen.
“We are going after the contract cartels and their networks of supporters … We are going after the corrupt and their property which is the property of all Colombians,” Santos said.
Apart from increasing the persecution of white collar crime, the President said his government will propose heavier penalties for those convicted of corruption.”
“No more corrupt convicts enjoying their money at home,” Santos said, warning that those convicted of corruption “are excluded from benefits such as house arrest, suspension of sentence or probation.”
According to Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras, the government will propose a number of measures to prevent corruption; politicians will not be allowed to contract anyone who financially supported their election and the professional secrecy will be lifted if private accountants or tax advisers fail to denounce corruption.
According to the 2009 Global Corruption Report, Colombia ranks 70th on the list of the most corrupt countries in the world. According to the country’s anti-corruption czar, annually COP3.9 trillion of government money is embezzled.