The Colombian Attorney General’s Office opened a preliminary investigation on Friday against the mayor of the city of Popayán (southwest), Juan Carlos López, who tested positive for COVID-19, for alleged violation of the sanitary measure and falsification of the document.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Nation acts with determination and is implacable with those who disregard the measures ordered by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” the investigating entity explained in a statement.
The Procurator’s Office (Public Ministry) also announced the opening of an investigation to the mayor of Popayán “for alleged non-compliance with presidential directives for the management of public order in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.”
López, who confirmed the test results in a video this morning, announced that as a result of this situation he will appoint a mayor in charge “with whom we will continue working along the same lines that we have been doing” in Popayán, capital of the troubled department of Cauca .
The mayor’s situation alerted at least 50 authorities in the country, including President Iván Duque, since they were with him on March 11 at the opening of the “Vive Popayán” cultural week held at the Casa de Nariño, seat of the Executive.
After learning of the contagion of the president, the Presidency announced that President Duque will undergo a coronavirus test, an analysis that was also carried out this afternoon by the Mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, who was at the event.
The Government confirmed that, according to the records, at the time of entering the Presidential Palace the mayor denied presenting symptoms such as fever or cough, having visited other countries in the last 14 days and having contact with people with symptoms.
However, López declared this Friday in various media that he had been in Morocco since February 1 and returned to Colombia on March 1, and defended himself by saying that no one told him “that he had to be in quarantine.”
For this reason, the Prosecutor’s Office will investigate whether it violated sanitary measures (article 368 of the Penal Code) and incurred any falsehood (article 286 of the Penal Code) by omitting, in the protocol of the Presidency, information about their stay in other countries during the last 14 days.
The Prosecutor’s Office also explained that in three days it has intervened in nine cases, eight of which correspond to investigations for violation of a sanitary measure and one for the spread of the pandemic.