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She and other top officials will have to explain to Congress about the money they have in tax havens.
On Thursday, Colombia’s Vice President Marta Ramirez, Transport Minister Angela Orozco, and Customs and Taxes Office (DIAN) Director Lisandro Junco will testify before the Lower House about their involvement in the financial crimes uncovered by the Pandora Papers.
These officers must explain why they decided to keep their assets in tax havens and provide data on when and under what conditions they declared the holding of these assets to DIAN.
"Keeping assets in tax haven has a specific purpose: hiding the origin, destination, and possible uses of the money," lawmaker David Racero pointed out, adding that tax evasion is unfortunately common among Colombian officials since President Ivan Duque's tax reform allows them to hold assets abroad.
The debate will center on Junco, who is the highest authority in charge of administering and controlling the fulfillment of the tax obligations of Colombians as the DIAN director. In the Pandora Papers, this officer was proved to keep money in U.S. companies for an alleged graduate degree he intended to do in that country.
Two social activists, Efren España and Luis Alfonso Narváez, were murdered yesterday in separate attacks in Cauca, southwest Colombia.
Their deaths take the number of social activists killed in Colombia since the start of this year to 141. pic.twitter.com/DcJ69peN1n
"These companies, which by the way have already closed, were not off-shore," Junco claimed and rejected having kept money in other tax havens such as Cyprus or the U.K.
"Junco does not deserve to hold the DINA office. He has no morals to tell citizens to pay taxes as he tried to evade them," Racero insisted and urged Junco to resign for political decorum until the Lower House clarifies his implications in this financial crime.
Ramirez and Orozco also denied liability with offshore companies. The former assured that she formally declared her investments as provided by Colombian law. The latter confirmed that she was a shareholder of the Global Securities Management firm but claimed that she ceded her actions to her former husband in 2012 when they got divorced.