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SEPTEMBER 2020

New Allegations Of Massive Corruption In Colombian Armed Forces And Threats Against Whistleblowers

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New Allegations Of Massive Corruption In Colombian Armed Forces And Threats Against Whistleblowers

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Local media in Colombia this week have been scrutinizing the statements of the retired colonel, Martín Arrauth. The former military intelligence officer participated in the Bastón operation, an investigation that revealed a major corruption scandal within the Colombian Army after details were first published by the Semana media outlet.

According to sources within the institutions, Arrauth was a long-time confidant of the former commander of the military forces, General Alberto José Mejía, today Colombia’s ambassador to Australia.

Colonel Arrauth was one of the Army’s Counterintelligence Commanders from December 2015 to July 2018.

He took part in the restructuring and reorganization of the National Army’s Counterintelligence during that period, and took part in planning not only the Bastón mission, but more than 700 other related operations pursuant to orders and directives of his superior officers.

According to the officer, the objective of the operations was to identify, prevent, detect, interrupt or counteract foreign intelligence activities, terrorist organizations, subversive agents or activities and other possible threats to the preservation of personnel, facilities, infrastructure, equipment and information, all within the framework of the relevant constitutional and legal foundations and requirements.

This week he has been identified both from within the Armed Forces as well as by other sources as one of the people who has delivered to the press a large number of documents about the alleged irregular, criminal and corrupt actions of officers, which he found during the almost three years that he was at the forefront of military counterintelligence.

Regarding his work, retired Colonel Arrauth affirmed that many of the processes were carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office, and that they possess all the relevant documents and inquiries as well as more than 25,000 polygraph tests and recordings.

And in the face of the leaking of the documentation to the media, the officer, in a communication that he sent to Caracol Radio, said that “he will never violate the legal requirements and obligations of the work missions, let alone the intelligence law, as some journalists have alleged who are unaware of the reality of planning and directing, synchronizing information, processing and dissemination, as a tool for command decision-making.”

Colonel Arrauth also responded to former director of the Military Criminal Justice Tribunal Alejandro Ramírez, who in an interview claimed that he had profited from the payment of rewards.

On the contrary, he said that “he was never paid any reward for the operations and work missions that he had operationally under his command or for protocols, processes and procedures that he directed in the National Army’s Counterintelligence, a matter that is easily verifiable in the files of said agency”.

The former head of the Army’s counterintelligence, who he claims has been decorated 53 times and has two master’s degrees, denounced that since he left office he has been the subject of constant monitoring, surveillance and threats by unknown persons, “presumably from structures of power, who not only seek to dishonour his impeccable military career, easily verifiable in his resume, but also jeopardize his life and personal integrity and that of his entire family.”

He said that thanks to the work he completed, more than 3,000 men were dismissed from the Armed Forces and that is why he is now the target of attacks.

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