On Wednesday, the mayor of Cartagena Manuel Vicente Duque, who last month opposed and sabotaged the regular conduct of the Lalexpo trade show in the coastal city, was arrested along with José Julián Vásquez, the breeding brother of the burgomaster, for alleged crime of bribery, influence peddling, and corruption.
The arrest carried out by members of the Technical Corps of Intelligence of the Prosecutor’s Office due to a series of accusations that would have to do with the irregularities in the election of the district comptroller Nubia Fantalvo, what motivated the apprehension of the comptroller and the Councilman Jorge Useche who voluntarily gave himself to the Prosecutor’s Office, as reported by the newspaper El Universal.
Previously, the Attorney General’s office had suspended the mayor of Cartagena as a precautionary measure due to investigations that began on the collapse of a six-story building in the town of Blas de Lezo that resulted in the deaths of 21 people on March 27.
The tragedy and its subsequent investigations revealed irregularities in the processes of licenses and constructions in the city for which Manuel Duque was blamed for failing to take measures to prevent the incident, according to El Colombiano newspaper.
On May 18, the Attorney General’s Office agreed to suspend the mayor. All this happened at a time when the burgomaster also attempted a ban on the realization of Lalexpo (Latam trade show for the adult entertainment industry), indicating that it was a show that he cataloged as “porno” and that promoted prostitution and sexual tourism, which prompted a wave of reactions against it by the local community, diverging attention and public opinion on the business event.
He resumed as mayor after a ruling of guardianship that annulled the measure of the Attorney General’s Office. However, his return would not be permanent, because July 24 the Disciplinary Chamber of the Superior Council of the Judiciary followed the decision of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, so he was expelled from power. In his place is now Sergio Londoño Zurek, appointed by the president Juan Manuel Santos.
Regarding the capture of the citizens and authorities, it is known that for now the detainees are appearing at the headquarters of the accuser and it is expected that in the next few days more arrests will be made.