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News > Colombia

Colombian Congress Begins Probe Against Attorney General

  • Colombia's Attorney General Nestor Martinez.

    Colombia's Attorney General Nestor Martinez. | Photo: EFE

Published 6 December 2018

Colombia's Attorney General Nestor Martinez is accused of knowing of Odebrecth-related bribes and failing to investigate. 

The Colombian Congress opened an investigation against Attorney General Nestor Martinez over failing to investigate corruption claims against Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht despite knowing of bribes and kickbacks.


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A congressional investigation was opened Wednesday, after audio recordings between Martinez and former comptroller for infrastructure project “Ruta del Sol,” Jorge Enrique Pizano, surfaced. In the recordings, the two refer to the Odebrecht-linked irregularities.

Irregularities Martinez failed to investigate as Colombia’s Attorney General, a post he has held since August 2016. Before his post a General Attorney, Martinez was the lawyer of Grupo Aval, Odebrecht’s national partner.

Odebrecht is currently being investigated by Colombia’s General Attorney’s Office for offering bribes in exchange for contracts, a practice the multinational has been investigated for in multiple South American countries, including Peru and Ecuador.   

Legislator Oscar Villamizar, of the ruling party Democratic Center, will lead the investigations. “We are working for the country to know all the truth of what has been happening,” Villamizar said.

A legislator of the Social Party of National Unity, known as “La U,” John Jairo Cardenas requested more than one investigator representing different parties to provide guarantees.

In November, Martinez was accused by a civil society group of knowing of Odebrecht’s corruption and not investigating it, prompting opposition legislators to request his resignation.

He did not resign but last week Colombia’s Supreme Court ordered President Ivan Duque to send a three-name list of possible prosecutors that could replace Martinez to lead the investigations in two cases of the Odebrecth scandal, specifically the Ruta del Sol project.

One of the cases includes a US$6.5 million bribe given to former Transports Vice Minister Gabriel Garcia in 2009. Garcia has been found guilty.  

The Supreme Court is expected to choose the ad hoc prosecutor Thursday.

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