The police captain who blew the whistle on a male prostitution ring within the Colombia’s National Police force has been removed from his position, his lawyer said.
Attorney Jesus Vergara told journalists that the dismissal will be appealed by Captain Anyelo Palacios, who is being advised to respond legally to the decision about which the police have as yet made no public statement.
The dismissal of Palacios is related to an investigation into the crime of bribery he allegedly committed while on duty in the southern Colombian city of Florencia.
The suspected bribery was said to have occurred in June 2015 when Palacios apparently pocketed more than 500,000 pesos ($167) from a businessman in return for erasing several criminal charges against the liquor store he owned.
Palacios became immersed in scandal after declaring himself a victim of a homosexual prostitution network within the police known as “The Community of the Ring,” which in mid-February cost police commander General Rodolfo Palomino his job.
Colombia’s police chief resigns amid piling claims of sexual misconduct
The situation sparked a national debate with the publication by the website of radio station La FM of a videotape recorded in 2008 by Palacios in which he is having a highly sexual conversation with then Senator Carlos Ferro.
Ferro, who since October 2014 had served as the vice minister of the Interior for Policy Relations, resigned his post after the video was made public, despite the fact that no mention was made in it of the presumed prostitution network.
Colombia’s national police chief also under disciplinary investigation over ‘prostitution ring’
The scandal was one of the reasons for Palomino’s February 17 resignation amid a disciplinary investigation opened by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez.
Palacios was moved several weeks ago from the city of Florencia to the Bogota Metropolitan Police, where he will continue on active duty until the court reaches a decision about his dismissal.
The police captain fighting his removal from the force was also kidnapped on March 13 but was able to escape his abductors the next day.
Kidnapped key witness of police prostitution ring found alive