Former minister Karen Abudinen launched her book with which she tells her version of the story in the Centros Poblados case – credit Diego Pineda/X
Karen Abudinen, who until September 9, 2021 was Minister of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), broke her silence and on Thursday, November 30, 2023, referred to the scandal that marked her time in the cabinet of former president Iván Duque. : that of Populated Centers and the delivery of an advance of $70,000 million to a temporary union created by the convicted contractor Emilio Tapia.
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Abudinen, who presented the book in which he explains his vision of the events and his management, detailed why he made the decision to award the controversial contract of around 1.07 billion pesos, which had as its objective the installation of the transportation service. internet to 7,000 rural schools in the country, through contract 1043 of 2020, through the Unión Temporal Centros Poblados.
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In dialogue with Blu Radio, the former official explained that the determination to award the contract to said consortium was based on compliance with all legal requirements, despite previous warnings. Likewise, she maintained that one billion pesos was protected when the contract expired four months after its award, due to complaints about possible acts of corruption.
“I think it was important to make this historical account for life, for my family, for the citizens, for the people, because at the end of the day there are convicts. Some took advantage of early sentences. In fact, there are principles of opportunities, but the important thing here is how the events occurred,” said Abudinen.
Likewise, the former ICT Minister defended the actions taken by the ministry and argued that they followed the required legal procedures and that when the contract expired, a greater loss of public funds was avoided.
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“They suspended all the contracts they had with the State, which were more than 4 billion pesos. So what I think is the right thing was done. 1 billion pesos were protected because you have to think that the contract was not only for 70,000, but it was 1.7. (…) Today there are more than 8,000 connected schools. The 70,000 (million) are in the hands of criminals,” he added to the aforementioned media.
The former ICT minister presented her book on the corruption case of Centros Poblados during her management of the portfolio – credit
Karen Abudinen mentioned that in the book, Where are the $70,000 million?, she also recounted the negative impact on her family and reputation due to the dissemination of information and criticism on social networks. According to her version, there is a need to reflect on Law 80 and how the management of information on social networks affected her personal life and the management of the ministry.
In her defense, she also alleged that the law obliged her to award the contract to the Poblados Centers consortium, since they complied with “all the requirements, both technical, legal, and financial.” For this reason, the former minister invited a national debate to be held to review potential improvements to the legislation and to stop socially condemning people without having evidence against them.
“I cannot condemn someone where I do not have proof,” said Abudinen, who stressed the importance of following due process to those involved in the scandal. Like Emilio Tapia, and who would be his partner, Luis Fernando Duque, who were the ones who orchestrated the plan with which they were awarded contract 1043 of 2020, the subject of controversy.
After the launch of the controversial book, the journalist who denounced the scandal, Paola Herrera, from W Radio, stated that it was a joke that a publishing house had agreed, according to her, so that “one of the perpetrators is the one who ends up telling the story. “truth of history.” To the point that she reiterated her complaints about alleged irregularities, with advisors who did not fulfill their duties and did receive a salary.
With this message on her X profile, journalist Paola Herrera spoke out against former minister Karen Abudinen – credit @paoherrerac/X
Regarding this case, on Monday, July 10, Juan José Laverde’s sentence of 48 months (four years) in prison was confirmed for his responsibility in this network of corruption. The man availed himself of a principle of opportunity before the Prosecutor’s Office, he was sentenced after being found guilty of falsification of a private document and procedural fraud, by Judge 40 of Knowledge of Bogotá.