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Colombian Ex-Secretary Jailed over Uribe Administration’s Espionage Scandal Released Early

By: Felipe Fernández - @Ffernandezp - Jul 7, 2017, 9:05 am
Este jueves el Juzgado Quinto de Ejecución de Penas de Bogotá confirió libertad condicional al exsecretario General de Presidencia, Bernardo Moreno Villegas, quien había sido condenado por el caso de las “chuzadas” del DAS. (Twitter)
A judge granted parole to the former official, who had been convicted in the “Chuzadas” case, in which he and other high-standing members of Uribe’s administration were caught wiretapping and recording the conversations of the political opposition. (Twitter)

EspañolColombia’s former Secretary General Bernardo Moreno Villegas was released early from his prison sentence this week.

Moreno, who served in the administration of Álvaro Uribe Vélez between 2002 and 2010, had been sentenced to 96 months in prison — or eight years — for espionage, but left this week a free man after having served only 57 months — or just under five years.

A judge decided to grant parole to the former official, who had been convicted in the “Chuzadas” scandal, in which he and other high-standing members of Uribe’s administration were caught wiretapping and recording the conversations of the political opposition and journalists, among others.

Moreno was officially convicted of conspiring to commit a crime, abusing public office as well as intercepting communications.

This Thursday, July 6, the court found that because Moreno had no disciplinary record in prison or shown any misconduct, he could leave early and serve parole.

Moreno had offered to make amends with former congresswoman Yidis Medina Padilla — considered a victim of the scandal — with a public apology and economic reparations.

“There is evidence that even before the conviction, Bernardo Moreno offered to make amends with and compensate his victims,” the court ruled on Thursday.

The court also noted that Moreno “does not represent in any way a danger to the community and, on the contrary, the goals of the penalty already accomplished suggest that he be fully reintegrated into the community to which he belongs.”

Source: El Heraldo

Felipe Fernández Felipe Fernández

Felipe Fernández is a reporter from Colombia for the PanAm Post. He's a law student at the La Gran Colombia University in Armenia. Follow him on Twitter: @Ffernandezp

Colombia Suffers Dramatic Drop in Investment after Santos-FARC Deal

By: Felipe Fernández - @Ffernandezp - Jul 6, 2017, 3:08 pm
Colombia has seen a decline in foreign investment following the Santos-FARC Agreement (

EspañolForeign investment in Colombia fell 46.5% in the first three months of the year. This was reported by the country's Central Bank after pointing out that the investment between January and March was USD $ 2.5 billion. This figure is much lower than that reported for fiscal year 2016, when foreign investment was around USD $4.7 billion. According to the bank, the sectors most affected were: electricity, gas, and water. Read More: Santos Bypasses Institutions, Uses Decrees to Ram FARC Deal Through Read More: Why the Santos-FARC Agreement Failed to Bring Peace to Colombia The items that saw decreased foreign investment were sectors removed from the oil industry, which maintained an investment level of USD $1.9 billion. On the other hand, the best performing sectors for foreign direct investment were manufacturing, which saw a 65.1% increase, at USD $710 million, while the commercial, hotel, and tourism sectors received USD $241 million during the first three months of the year, amounting to a 52.8% increase. Investment in the construction sector grew 9.7%, while agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing saw growth of 4.2%. In contrast, the electricity, gas, and water sector showed a decline in the quarter, reporting a meagre investment of USD $ 117 million, compared to last year when for the same time period they reported USD $ 2.5 billion, falling by 95.2%. According to the Central Bank, oil improved compared to that obtained in 2016. During the same quarter of last year they received investment of USD $440 million while this year the investment was USD $ 596 million. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); In 2016, foreign direct investment amounted to USD $13.6 billion. This is a significant decline from fiscal years 2012-2014, when Colombia averaged around USD $16 billion annually in FDI (foreign direct investment) largely led by the oil and mining sectors. President Juan Manuel Santos and his administration have claimed that their landmark agreement with the FARC will bring economic prosperity and boost investment, but the jury is still out on such claims. Based on the initial quarter in 2017, the Santos administration has yet to back up their contentions with hard data. Source: Dinero

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