February 28, 2021

Colombian Army Commander says he does not know of allegations of corruption

The commander of the Colombian Army, General Nicacio Martinez, said Monday that he did not know during his performance as Inspector General of the institution the allegations of corruption against several officers who, according to Semana magazine, are investigated by the authorities.

"During the time I was Inspector General, I did not know of any direct or direct accusation against the generals mentioned in the article," Martínez said in a statement.

However, Martinez said he attended "a judicial inspection by the Attorney General of the Nation for events in the Fourth Brigade" of the Army, of which he said he did not know "the details, the assumptions involved and the progress of the investigation" .

Semana magazine said yesterday that the allegations of corruption against generals of the Colombian Army that are investigated by the Prosecutor's Office and the Attorney General's Office (Public Prosecutor's Office) have provoked a new persecution in the Armed Forces, as happened last May with those who warned of the possible return of extrajudicial executions, known in the country as "false positives".

The publication noted in a special that is entitled "The black sheep of the Army", that one of the investigations commits the second commander of the institution, General Adelmo Fajardo, whose subordinates told the judicial investigators that they should give him money from the budget of the institution for your personal expenses.

Fajardo was in the eye of the hurricane in 2014 when, being commander of the Tenth Brigade, he was accused of lending a Black Hawk helicopter to the then proxies representative for the Armed Forces, Eduardo Campo Soto, for a family vacation.

The other case released by Semana is that of General Jorge Romero, to whom the Prosecutor's Office investigates for possible mismanagement of the budget amounting to nearly 1,000 million pesos (about $ 310,000).

This happened, according to the publication, when Romero was commander of the Fourth Army Brigade and the money that had to be used in the maintenance of the vehicles of the institution was apparently diverted by means of "illegal maneuvers in which other highs were involved. officers under his charge. "

General Romero, who is currently the head of the Command of Integral Support and Development, also "would have mounted in the Fourth Brigade" a scheme to receive money in exchange for the delivery of weapons carrying permits.

In the report, Semana indicated that four soldiers confirmed that the head of the Counterintelligence Support Command (Cacim), General Eduardo Quiroz, offered his men rewards for information on who leaked Army information to the press.

Similarly, Week recalled that General Martinez himself has been the subject of speculation on account of a guideline, whose formats the magazine published, in which the military had to make a projection to duplicate the operational results of his troop.

This controversy began last May when the American newspaper The New York Times published an article according to which the Colombian government carries out "another incarnation" of the "false positives", crimes committed by soldiers who presented civilians as guerrillas killed in combat to achieve awards and permits from their superiors.

So far, the Colombian Prosecutor's Office has investigated about 5,000 cases of "false positives" involving some 1,500 soldiers that were committed between 1988 and 2014.

Of these, 2,200 cases were referred to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), which is responsible for judging the crimes committed during the armed conflict.

General Martinez said on May 21 that the guideline would be changed because he considered that there was "misinterpretation" by people outside the institution.

Faced with the above, Martinez said today in the statement that on several occasions has clarified that the formats "do not correspond to an institutional guideline."

He also reiterated that "to avoid misinterpretation of the population, at this time (the formats) do not exist or have any validity in the evaluation" of the results of operations and "were withdrawn in May."

Subsequently, in his Twitter account Martinez said that "as part of the policy of zero tolerance with activities away from the principles, values, Constitution and law, the Counterintelligence processes were strengthened".

He also reported that "42 members were removed from active duty and 38 are at the disposal of the judicial authorities", although he did not specify for what reasons.

"In the event of possible irregularities, the Army promotes and facilitates the investigation by the competent authorities and the establishment of the consequences that may arise," the Army commander said.

(tagsToTranslate) Commander (t) Ejercito (t) colombiano (t) ignore (t) corruption

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