Carlos Maya did not accept charges for anomalies on the Los Colibrís road

Carlos Maya did not accept charges for anomalies on the Los Colibrís road
Carlos Maya did not accept charges for anomalies on the Los Colibrís road

The arrests of Maya, Hurtado and Rojas, carried out on June 21, mark a critical point in the Prosecutor’s Office investigation into the first phase of the Los Colibríes Avenue, which faces cost overruns of more than 20,000 million pesos. Maya was detained at a university in Bogotá, while Hurtado and Rojas were captured in Pereira.

During the hearing, the prosecutor presented evidence of alleged cost overruns, non-compliance and lack of adequate documentation. He highlighted a advance payment of 12,745 million pesos, equivalent to 40% of the total value of the contract, which is not properly recorded in the project documents. In addition, multiple delays were noted in the work, originally scheduled to be completed in November 2023, but still unfinished and with a new tentative date for March 2024.

Maya, when questioned by the guarantee control judge, stated that he did not clearly understand the charges or the reduction of sentences proposed by the prosecutor. “It has not been clear to me from the Prosecutor’s Office the crimes that I am accused of and the means of evidence or approaches that are made.“, declared the former mayor, adding that “The prosecutor seems confused to propose a reduction in sentences for each of the crimes we are accused of.“Maya’s defense supported her statements, while the judge warned that any error in the formulation of the charges will be analyzed at the security measure hearing.

The Los Colibríes Avenue project, which seeks to improve road connectivity between Pereira and the town of Cerritos, has been the subject of controversy due to significant cost overruns and delays. Initially budgeted at 40,000 million pesos, the total cost rose to more than 52,000 million, including an addition of 12,000 million.

Investigations intensified after complaints from the representative to the Chamber for Risaralda, Alejandro García, who requested the intervention of the Comptroller General of the Republic. In response, Comptroller Carlos Hernán Rodríguez decreed an “exceptional functional intervention” to ensure the correct use of public funds.

The current mayor of Pereira, Mauricio Salazar, has reaffirmed his commitment to transparency and the correct management of the resources allocated to the project, anticipating a prompt completion of the first phase of the work and the continuation of the work in a second phase.

The hearing on the security measure will take place on Tuesday, June 25, where the judicial future of those involved in this complex corruption case will be decided.

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