The Attorney General’s Office ordered the suspension and search for a way to cancel a million-dollar contract that the former mayor of Neiva, Gorky Muñoz, gave to the questioned Cartagena businessman Alfonso ‘el Turco’ Hilsaca.
A portal investigation The Empty Chair revealed that the former mayor, dismissed in August 2023 by the Attorney General’s Office, gave two hand-picked companies, which were created by ‘el Turco’, a millionaire and important contract for the cadastral administration of the city for the next 15 years.
The agreement, signed in 2023, gave the controversial businessman a total of 100,000 million pesos, the majority for interest. In addition, the former mayor had also given a contract for public lighting to the same companies, also for 15 years.
In such a way that, after an extensive investigation of a month and a half, the administrative judicial attorney of Neiva, David de La Torre, issued an order in which he requests the Mayor’s Office to immediately suspend the administrative agreement and seek its annulment.
That order, dated January 15, is based on the discovery of substantial irregularities in the preparation of the agreement. Among these, the document indicates that the selection process was directed and that the rules of free competition were omitted. It is also noted that the times in which the contractual process was carried out show that everything was planned and agreed upon.
“The date of delegation of the pre-contractual stage (June 27, 2023), the date of the act that justifies the direct contracting (June 28, 2023) and the conclusion of the agreement (June 28, 2023) evidence that everything was previously agreed upon. “, can be read on the car.
Then, he adds that “it was legally impossible for the details and aspects of a legal transaction of such magnitude and complexity to be defined in such a short period of time.”
Likewise, the document details that transparency is compromised, because the presentation of the proposal was requested without an act that clearly specified that the mechanism would be through direct contracting. “People without the necessary competence for such a decision determined the viability of the agreement,” the order reads.
Furthermore, the previous studies had not been formalized when the proposal was presented and within a period of two days the pre-contractual authority was delegated, the direct contracting was delegated and the agreement was signed.
On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office highlighted that the business would be harmful to the citizens of Neiva because it would entail excessive payments to the Turco Hilsaca companies and would compromise the city’s public resources in the long term.
Furthermore, the interest rate is high. “You are compromising the municipality’s assets with absolutely costly and long-term payments,” says the Attorney General’s document. “The agreed interest is clearly remunerative and is at a high rate, which distorts the existence of inter-administrative cooperation and demonstrates that a hidden public credit operation was carried out.”
If the termination clause of the contract is not applied, the Attorney General’s Office warned that it would seek the annulment of the agreement through an administrative lawsuit, but such a process could last months or even years.
The business that Gorky Muñoz granted to the Turkish Hilsaca companies consists of updating the cadastre, which is used to collect property tax. The delegate company is the Public Lighting Services Company (Esip), which, being private, cannot be supervised.
As reported by La Silla Vacía, the contract was signed in November of last year, before the 2021 guarantee law came into effect, which would have forced the Mayor’s Office to submit the contracting process to a public tender.
That medium highlights that Esip is made up of two companies, AGM Desarrollo and American Lighting, which do not have experience in land registry contracts.