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Politicians in Colombia accused: Forgery of titles

The forgery of titles within Colombia by recognized political figures has become a common practice. How has this been happening? Are they being charged?

Various investigators conducted questionnaires considering academic and professional titles on the resume of politicians ranging from bachelor’s degrees to doctorates that don’t actually exist. The truth is that obtaining false diplomas is not only a very frequent crime in Colombia, it is, in fact a global problem, which has been quite common in political positions that ironically exercise law and order.

Forgery of titles by politicians – the case of Colombia

It’s not a secret that obtaining false diplomas is a crime, done to acquire or earn prestige, honor, and better economic remuneration. In Colombia, it’s established that the more titles one has, the more salary is attributed, and often, without verification. Many politicians have also been involved in controversial cases. Some of the more recognized politicians in Colombia accused of forgery of titles are:

Iván Duque Márquez: in 2018, the President of the Republic of Colombia was involved in a case of falsification of a specialization in Negotiation at Harvard University. Duque was criticized on several occasions for the lack of experience in the public and private sectors through social networks. For these same reasons, the Ph.D. student in Finance and Economics at the University of Chicago, Alejandro Hoyos, showed evidence concerning a conversation through emails with Harvard University. This exchange of emails unearthed that Iván Duque attended 2 programs at Harvard, one in 2004 with a duration of five days, and another in 2008 with a duration of four days, which do not grant a specialization degree as evidenced in their response to Alejandro Hoyos.

Enrique Peñalosa: The former mayor of Bogotá was investigated for falsification of master’s and doctorate degrees in Paris, identified as not being homologated in Colombia. The truth is that Peñalosa was never arrested or punished for these falsifications like other politicians at the time. On one hand, according to Las 2 Orillas because “Peñalosa presented a (falsified) document that accredited him as a Ph.D. . In other fraud cases politicians delivered papers with falsified signatures and stamps. Peñalosa only proclaimed he had a Ph.D., so he never committed the crime of forgery, and lying is not punishable in this country. ” On the other hand, according to the newspaper El Espectador, he assures that the Prosecutor’s Office did not retaliate against Peñalosa because the French embassy in Colombia confirmed the data of the diplomas that the mayor had presented.

Gustavo Petro: The current Senator of the Republic of Colombia was accused of falsifying three academic degrees, specifically a masters, a specialization and a false Ph.D. . Newspaper El Espectador published a report speaking about an investigation presented by the journalist Melquisedec Torres, which verifies that his supposed three degrees, a Ph.D. in new trends in business management, a master’s in economics and a specialization in public administration, are completely false. In this report, you can see the evidence presented by El Espectador.

César Augusto Suárez Mira: The former mayor of Bello (Antioquia) was accused of falsifying his bachelor’s degree in 2016. César Augusto, was denounced for procedural fraud by former councilor León Fredy Muñoz. Suárez Mira was arrested and charged for ideological falsehood in a public document, use of a false public document, and false testimony.

On Thursday, December 1, 2016, he was arrested. A few months later, on September 14, 2017, he was released, on the condition of presenting hearings, established by the prosecution, despite having proven his guilt. He resumed his functions as mayor of Bello (Antioquia).

How to respond to the forgery of titles?

It is reprehensible that people practice professions with false degrees in areas they have never studied, but it is even more so when they are exercising control and making decisions for a country, city, or municipality. It is almost impossible to know exactly how many false diplomas there are worldwide, but what is true is that counterfeit entities will continue to exist as long as there is demand.

Protecting this kind of information is vitally important to prevent academic fraud.

You are aware of cases of forgery, concerning certificates or academic and professional titles? Share these cases with us!

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