Francisco 'Kiko' Gómez Cerchar

The jailed governor of La Guajira, Colombia’s most northern state, was barred from holding public office for 18 years on Wednesday over corruption allegations.

The Inspector General’s Office sanctioned the governor for fraud and corruption.

Francisco Gomez is currently in jail in Bogota after allegations were made public he would have ties to neo-paramilitary groups active in the north of Colombia.

The former governor has had a turbulent past with many questions about his links to criminal organisations, murders and journalist intimidation.

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However, this time the Inspector General has brought ​​five disciplinary charges, for one of which he has already been acquitted, against the regional leader for irregularities in planning and substantial underwriting of contracts, one of which for the building of a road in La Guajira region, a project worth more than $25 million.

According to the Inspector General, the former governor failed to comply to due process before commissioning public works.

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According to the Inspector General’s office, “an official investigation was not as thorough as would have been required for the exercise of its functions, the performance of the duties and the protection of public resources.”

Charges have been brought against him as “the governor violated the principles of transparency and state responsibility as well as the duty of objective selection” with regards to selective hiring in 2012 for work in the town of Riohacha.


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