The president of Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice announced that it is
possible that more arrest warrants will be issued as part of Colombia’s
According to judge Augusto Ibañez, “there is a lot of new evidence that the court will analyze,” he said, adding that “it is possible that further security measures will be put into place because the process is very comprehensive.”
Conservative Party Vice President Alirio Villamizar Afanador was the first congressman to be arrested. Former Notary and Registration superintendent Manuel Guillermo Cuello named the senator when he reported suspicions of illegal activity. This followed the government’s alleged 2004 decision to offer notaries to parliamentarians approving legislation which enabled President Alvaro Uribe’s successful reelection.
Villamizar Afanador turned himself in Wednesday morning to authorities in Bogota, a day after the Supreme Court issued a warrant for his arrest. He is being held on charges of extortion, and the Court is currently investigating whether to add charges of illegally receiving funds after more than 750 million pesos (approximately US$370,000) was found in his home in Bucaramanga.
Notary 11 of Bucaramanga, Luz Yaneth Rojas, last week told the Criminal Appelate Division that the senator had assigned her to that office, news site El Nuevo Siglo reports.
Notary 11 was created in 2006 by Presidential Decree 3459, and is mentioned in ex-superintendent Cuello’s complaint. He alleged that President Uribe’s government awarded 79 notaries to about 39 congressmen in exchange for their vote for the President’s reelection in 2004.
The Supreme Court suspects several congressmen of having been assigned notaries by the government. The Prosecutor General will now need to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to open a formal investigation into former government officials who may have been involved in the offering of bribes.
Two Congressmen, Yidis Medina and Teodolindo Avendaño, already were convicted by the Supreme Court for accepting government bribes.