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Official: Irregularities Found In Colombian Military Contracts

Feb. 17, 2014 - 06:47PM   |  
Spanish Royals Meet Colombian President Juan Manue
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday ordered an investigation into disclosures that 'administrative deficiencies' have been found in army aviation contracts. (Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images)
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BOGOTA — Colombia’s defense minister acknowledged Monday “administrative deficiencies” have been found in army aviation contracts following a magazine’s expose of corruption in the military.

President Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday ordered an investigation into the disclosures by Semana, a Colombian newsweekly.

Semana’s expose was based on hundreds of hours of tape recordings in which senior officers are heard discussing kickbacks they received for certain military contracts.

Revelations earlier this month in Semana put the Santos government on the defensive over allegations that an army intelligence unit was spying on his negotiating team at peace talks with FARC rebels in Havana.

Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said a preliminary review of 105 contracts found 10 instances of “administrative deficiencies with possible disciplinary connotations.”

He said he would establish a high-level commission to investigate the irregularities, and had asked for separate investigations by Colombia’s comptroller, the attorney general and the inspector general.

Pinzon also has ordered contracting activities for army aviation to be placed under the defense ministry.

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