BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday swore in the country’s new attorney general, Nestor Humberto Martinez, asking him to fight corruption, a crime he called the country’s No. 1 enemy and the most important challenge in ensuring a lasting peace.
“Our No. 1 enemy is corruption and now that we’re presented with the great opportunity for peace, ... (let us) work together to fight those who want to steal public funds, that is to say, the future of the poorest and the most needy,” said the president at the Casa de Nariño ceremony.
During the event, Santos asked Martinez to thoroughly investigate the country’s emblematic corruption cases.
“We have to get to the final point ... to determine what happened with the resources in the Juegos Deportivos Nacionales (case), which did not transform themselves into the sports scenarios we had hoped,” he said regarding one of the cases in Choco province, one of the country’s poorest regions.
Martinez, in turn, said that the AG’s Office will “break the back of impunity” by revamping the government’s policy on crime by means of an “institutional reengineering” designed to “knock down the wall between the agency and the people.”
“The contribution of the Attorney General’s Office in collecting, organizing and delivering to the judiciary ... the information and evidence about the deeds that occurred in the armed conflict (between the government and the leftist guerrillas), will be crucial in guaranteeing that there is no impunity for the most serious crimes,” he said.
Martinez, who succeeds Eduardo Montealegre in the post, holds a doctorate in Judicial and Socio-Economic Sciences and other advanced degrees, and he is a expert in Commercial Law and Family Law.
During his public life, he has served as Cabinet chief, as well as interior minister, justice minister, ambassador to France and in banking and legal posts in the Inter-American Development Bank.