Breaking News —
Bogotá, Jun 30 . .- The Colombian attorney general, Francisco Barbosa, and the comptroller, Felipe Córdoba, apparently used an official trip to cross the festive bridge on the Caribbean island of San Andrés despite the tourist restrictions in force by the pandemic, according to a complaint published Tuesday by Noticias Uno.
Regarding the journalistic report, the entities explained that it was an institutional trip for the officials, who are developing an anti-corruption agenda in the country to follow up on irregularities in public procurement during the health emergency.
According to the newscast’s publication, Barbosa and Córdoba traveled to the island on Friday with some officials and family members and stayed at a luxurious hotel owned by a businessman close to the government and known in the country for financing political campaigns.
“Although according to versions of people close to the two entities, the press conference with the prosecutor and the comptroller had been summoned two days before their arrival, other versions indicate that they had not planned a public one because their plan was to pass the end of week by the sea, “the publication revealed.
The newscast had access to the press conference in which the prosecutor explained general details about the management of the investigating entity during the pandemic, information that according to some inhabitants of the island did not warrant the trip.
Tourism travel has been restricted in Colombia for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has left 95,043 national infections so far, only 24 of them confirmed in San Andrés.
THE PROSECUTOR RESPONSES
Faced with controversy, the Prosecutor General’s Office responded that since last week, it reported on the agenda that Barbosa would develop in the cities of Bucaramanga, Cali and San Andrés, accompanied by some officials of the entity and the comptroller.
The entity also explained that on the trip to San Andrés, the prosecutor and his team participated in several meetings to evaluate judicial processes on the island, as well as to discuss the strategy to “counter criminal activities” and the implementation of a security strategy.
“On Saturday, meetings were held with the San Andrés sectional director and the island’s police commander about deficiencies in judicial police in more than 20 cases, many of them involving corruption,” the entity responded to journalists.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Barbosa, who returned to Bogotá on Monday, also met with businessmen and merchants from San Andrés with whom he discussed crime prevention plans on the island.
The entity added: “In fact, we are dealing with the case of a homicide against a public official that occurred on Friday, managing to clarify it. On Sunday, together with Dr. Carmen Torres and our section director, we worked on the strategies and prioritization of the island’s cases. “
EXPLANATION OF THE COMPTROLLER
For its part, the Office of the Comptroller replied that Córdoba traveled to the island to attend to official matters related to the departmental Hospital.
“We finished a week where we visited Bucaramanga, Cali and San Andrés with the Prosecutor. We collected information that will help support decisions that we will announce in the coming days. We will continue to tour the country, getting closer to the reality that citizens and administrations live,” the comptroller had written yesterday your Twitter account.
According to the entity, the comptroller returned to Bogotá on Saturday and was accompanied by only two officials during the trip.