Police chief resigns over alleged gay prostitution ring
Colombia’s national police chief has resigned a day after an investigation was announced into the creation of a male prostitution ring.
General Rodolfo Palomino has resigned from his role after it was announced that a “disciplinary investigation” was to be launched against him over the alleged creation of a male prostitution ring.
The general is also under investigation for alleged ‘illicit enrichment’ and ‘conducting illegal wiretaps’.
The prostitution ring – referred to in the media as the Fellowship of the Ring – was operated between 2004 and 2008 and is said to involve police officers, senior officials and members of congress.
Prosecutor general Alejandro Ordonez said that the allegation had been backed up by a complaint by a now retired police captain.
According to the complaint, young male police cadets were forced and threatened into having sex with higher-ranking officers.
Mr Ordonez added that the alleged incidents had taken place “with the help and complicity of police officials, including the director general [Rodolfo Palomino]”.
Police officers also allegedly tapped the phones of journalists investigating the scandal.
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The investigation comes after local media released a video from 2008, showing former Senator Carlos Ferro – who resigned on Tuesday – talking explicitly about gay sex to police Captain Anyelo Palacios, although Palomina is not mentioned.
Although he was quick to deny any involvement in the activities, Palomina handed in his resignation yesterday (February 17).
In a public appearance with his wife and children, he said he was resigning “in the absolute and full certainty that I am not guilty of any of the charges against me.
“Faced with the known facts, I have made the decision with my family and with the police generals to ask the president to remove me from my post,” he said.
Despite the charges he may face, Rodolfo welcomed the probe – which he is confident will clear his name.
“I hope that the justice system can restore the dignity which has been taken from me through lies and infamy,” he said.