Until the same day of the presidential inauguration of Gustavo Petro, In the Ministry of the Interior of the government of Iván Duque, the documents with which the construction of police headquarters would be contracted were being legalized. in various areas of the country.
To the television news program Noticias Uno, Former officials of that entity sent audios in which it would be evident that Lucía Margarita Espinel, the then deputy minister (e) and Legal head of the aforementioned portfolio, shouted and threatened dismissal officials who did not sign the contracts.
“Then or the stations begin to go out with the rhythm that is needed or I begin to finish contracts. It’s that simple and here I stay “, he ordered.
The apparent intimidation would have occurred, as reported in that newscast, last Friday, August 5, in the Contract Management subdirectorate, in order for the officials to attend work that weekend, which coincided with the presidential transmission ceremony.
“It’s 3:34 pm I’m going to be here all the time and at 4 pm whoever doesn’t want to can give me the early termination and I receive it immediately. Or an assignment (of the contract) because there are people who need work and a contract”, the official insisted on the recording.
Despite being non-business days, between August 5 and 7, 16 inter-administrative agreements were signed that exceeded 135,000 million pesos to build the police stations, which were part of the 52 approved by the Evaluation Committee of the Ministry’s Security Fund of which the aforementioned official and the then Minister of the Interior, Daniel Palacio, were part.
Nevertheless, they did not achieve their mission of preparing the fifty contracts for the headquarters of the uniformed officers, whose budget exceeded half a billion pesosbecause many of the officials who had this task in charge became incapacitated to prevent possible disciplinary investigations.
In Noticias Uno they even got the memorandum that one of the officials, presumably harassed at work, told the Office of Internal Control of the Ministry of the Interior of the indicated irregularities and requested that the aforementioned contracts be reviewed.
Daniel Palaces, the now former Minister of the Interior, was consulted by that media outlet and assured that the process, which would have taken to the races, came from a Conpes (National Council for Economic and Social Policy), that they took time, and that it was to ensure the resources for the construction of police stations in the next five years.
He added that the administrations did not end the day a new president was elected, but until the day of the inauguration, so that ‘marathon’ of contracts was held on the weekend.
The issue of hiring on the run, according to what was established in Noticias Uno, would even show inconsistencies in the amounts for the works. An example was that of municipality of Acacías (Meta), where an item was approved for 12,885 million pesos, but on August 7, in the middle of the inauguration ceremony of President Petro, it ended up contracted for 13,996 million, that is, a little more than 1,000 million additional pesos.