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Published On: Thu, Oct 26th, 2017

Corrupt Colombian officials stole childrens’ lunch money

nsnbc : Corrupt Colombian officials have embezzled $13 billion from regional budgests in 2016, including $16 million from a program to feed poor children, reported Comptroller General Edgardo Maya.

Comptroller General Edgardo Maya_ColombiaColombians are habituated to reports about drug-peddling and corrupt officials, but the revelation that some have gone as far as targeting money earmarked to feed impoverished children is a shocker, even for the most hard-core habituated Colombians.

Comptroller General Edgardo Maya made his stunning revelation on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, when he presented the results of an audit of regional development budgets and started out by saying:

“We have a calculation that between 40 and 50 trillion pesos are appropriated from all budgets by corrupt officials.”

The grand total of embezzled funds is estimated to be considerably higher because the audit only covered a relatively minor part of the 2016 government spending. The grand total is estimated to be about $7.5 billion or about 10 percent of total government spending. Maya stressed that the audit found widespread fraud, particularly in the crisis and corruption-plagued health sector.

The special program to feed impoverished children attracted attention last year after some 100 children in the program had died of malnutrition in 2016 alone. The scandal led to several arrests for corruption and embezzlement including one governor. Nevertheless, $16 million from the program had vanished.

Similar scandals involved health and mental health schemes said Maya. The Comptroller General stressed that corruption with regional budgets is perpetuating regional inequality and rural poverty.

A/N – nsnbc 26.10.2017

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