Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed on Wednesday that the country’s Supreme Court is under investigation for corruption, claiming it “hurt” him.
The president said he was “hurt to confirm that corruption is able to reach state bodies this high” not even a week after he had been called to testify over the alleged slush funds entering his 2010 and 2014 election campaigns.
The country’s latest corruption scandal implicates three former Supreme Court presidents, who allegedly received bribes to rule in favor of two senators and one governor accused of corruption.
After confirming the criminal investigation of the country’s highest court, Santos urged the Prosecutor General’s Office “to proceed with investigations quickly and without hesitation. It is what the people want and demand.”
We need quick and strong action. We have to be tough and persevere because we are going to win the battle against corruption.
President Juan Manuel Santos
With the latest revelation, spurred by DEA wiretaps, all of Colombia’s top criminal justice bodies have been marred by corruption probes since the beginning of Santos’ second term in 2014.
Only a few weeks ago, the country’s top anti-corruption prosecutor was arrested on corruption charges, also after the US Department of Justice.
Last year, the country’s former police chief was forced to resign after allegations he had tried to obstruct justice in a flurry of accusations including sexual misconduct, pimping and the illegal wiretapping of journalists.
According to Transparency International’s 2016 corruption perception index, Colombia is perceived as Latin America’s 8th most corrupt country.