Andrés Felipe Arias Leiva

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Andrés Felipe Arias Leiva
Andrés Felipe Arias.jpg
8th Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia
In office
4 February 2005 – 7 February 2009
President Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Preceded by Carlos Gustavo Cano Sanz
Succeeded by Andrés Fernández Acosta
Personal details
Born (1973-05-04) 4 May 1973 (age 41)
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Catalina Serrano Garzón
(2007-present)
Children Eloísa Arias Serrano
Juan Pedro Arias Serrano
Alma mater University of the Andes
(BEcon, 1999; MEcon, 2000)
University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D., 2002[1])
Profession Economist
Religion Roman Catholic
Signature Andrés Felipe Arias Leiva's Signature
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Arias and the second or maternal family name is Leiva.

Andrés Felipe Arias Leiva (born 4 May 1973)[2] is a Colombian economist and fugitive from colombian justice, who served as the 8th Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia from 2005 to 2009, and was a candidate for the Conservative Party nomination in the 2010 Colombian presidential election,[3] ultimately losing to Noemí Sanín Posada.

Arias was under preventive detention from 26 July 2011 to 14 June 2013,[4] he was held pending a resolution of the case brought forth by the Office of the Attorney General against Arias charging him with "peculation and conversion in favour of third parties" in relation to the "AIS": Agro Ingreso Seguro scandal.[5] He has since fled the country and is currently a fugitive, he and his family are living in the United States.[6][7] On July 17, 2014 Andres Felipe Arias Leiva was sentenced to 17 years in jail by the Colombian Supreme Court for the AIS scandal.[8]

Political career[edit]

Minister of Agriculture[edit]

On 16 February 2004, Arias was appointed Deputy Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development serving under Minister Carlos Gustavo Cano Sanz, leaving his job as Director of Macroeconomics at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.[9] After just one year, Arias was promoted to Minister by President Álvaro Uribe on 21 January 2005,[10] and took office two weeks later on 4 February replacing his former superior, Minister Cano. On July 17, 2014 Andres Felipe Arias Leiva was sentenced to 17 years in jail by the Colombian Supreme Court for the AIS scandal.[8]

In 2009, Arias resigned his post at the Ministry to run in the Conservative Party primaries for the Party's nomination in the 2010 presidential election, but ultimately lost in the primaries to Noemí Sanín Posada, who in turn lost in the general election to Juan Manuel Santos Calderón. Arias and Santos had gotten close during the campaign, something the Conservatives disapproved of.[11] In turn Santos presented him with the Ambassadorship to Italy to replace Sabas Pretelt de la Vega.

"AIS": Agro Ingreso Seguro scandal[edit]

However, by then Arias had found himself involved in an investigation pertaining to the Agro Ingreso Seguro scandal, a series of compromising cases, first reported by Cambio magazine, involving his Ministry during his time in office for misallocating agricultural subsidies to wealthy families in the Caribbean Coastal Region. Because of this, his ambassadorship designation was heavily criticized by Congress, including the then-President of the Chamber of Representatives, Carlos Alberto Zuluaga Díaz, who publicly called for him to stay in the country to prove his innocence.[12] Arias ultimately chose to decline the Ambassadorship.[13]

On September 2009 the Office of the Comptroller General opened an investigation against Arias and other officials into the mismanagement of funds in the Agro Ingreso Seguro case,[14] then in December, the Office of the Inspector General opened a disciplinary hearing into irregularities related to the same case against 16 officials, including Arias and the then-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Andrés Fernández Acosta, who has also served as Deputy Minister when Arias was then Minister.[15] Finally in January 2010, the Office of the Attorney General opened a preliminary hearing against Arias to see if a criminal investigation would follow.[16] On 26 July 2011, Magistrate Orlando Fierro Perdomo ordered the arrest and preventive detention of Arias for obstruction of justice, as Arias was accused of meeting with other officials who were being investigated in the case, and for trying to coordinate their stance and testimony; for this he accused sent to Cantón Norte military prison pending the culmination of the trial.[17]

On 19 July 2011, the Office of the Inspector General found Arias guilty of irregularities in the misallocation of funds, and removed and disqualified him from holding a position in public service for a period of sixteen years.[18] He remains in preventive detention since 2011 to this date.[5]

On 3 July 2014, the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia found Arias guilty and he is still waiting an additional audience in which he will be notified about the length of his conviction.[19] However, that same week press reports began to appear that Arias was missing. It soon became clear that he had evaded his security escort the previous June 13 and fled the country with his family. He has since been sighted in Florida, according to Semana magazine.[6] On July 18, 2014, Colombia asked Interpol to arrest Andres Felipe Arias Leiva.[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Arias married Catalina Serrano Garzón on 17 March 2007, and together they have two children: a daughter named Eloísa born in 2008,[22] and a son named Juan Pedro born in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Doctoral Dissertations in Economics". Journal of Economic Literature. 41(4): 1461–1483. December 2003. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Andrés Felipe Arias, de la cima a la sima". Semana (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 19 July 2011. ISSN 0124-5473. OCLC 7475329. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Andrés Arias se Lanza por Candidatura Conservadora". El Tiempo. 2009-02-08. ISSN 0121-9987. OCLC 28894254. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  4. ^ http://www.justiceincolombia.com/andres-felipe-arias-leiva.php
  5. ^ a b "'Lo único que pido es defenderme en libertad': Andrés F. Arias". El tiempo (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 6 May 2013. ISSN 0124-5473. OCLC 7475329. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Las primeras pistas del paradero de Andrés Felipe Arias". El Espectador (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 11 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  7. ^ http://colombiareports.co/ex-minister-andres-felipe-arias-united-states-media-reports/
  8. ^ a b http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/justicia/condena-a-andres-felipe-arias-por-agro-ingreso-seguro/14260975
  9. ^ "Nuevo en Minhacienda". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 10 February 2004. ISSN 0121-9987. OCLC 28894254. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Ándres Felipe Arias, Nuevo Ministro de Agricultura" (in Spanish). Bogotá: Colombia, Office of the President. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Conservatismo Desautoriza Acercamientos de Arias con Santos". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 2010-02-05. ISSN 0121-9987. OCLC 28894254. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Que Andrés Felipe Arias Se Quede En El País 'Demostrando Su Inocencia', Dice Presidente De La Cámara". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 9 September 2010. ISSN 0121-9987. OCLC 28894254. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Andrés Felipe Arias no aceptó la embajada en Italia". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 8 October 2010. ISSN 0121-9987. OCLC 28894254. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Abren investigación por millonarios subsidios del Ministerio de Agricultura". Vanguardia Liberal (in Spanish) (Bucaramanga, Santander). 29 September 2009. ISSN 0122-7319. OCLC 4813898. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Procuraduría abrió investigación disciplinaria a Arias y a Fernández". Semana (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 9 December 2009. ISSN 0124-5473. OCLC 7475329. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Agro Ingreso Seguro, bajo la lupa de la Fiscalía". Semana (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 26 January 2010. ISSN 0124-5473. OCLC 7475329. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Dictan medida de aseguramiento contra el ex ministro Arias por AIS". El Tiempo (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 26 July 2011. ISSN 0124-5473. OCLC 7475329. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Procurador general destituye e inhabilita por 16 años a ex ministro de agricultura Andrés Felipe Arias y 10 funcionarios y ex funcionarios más" (in Spanish). Bogotá: Colombia, Office of the Inspector General. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Corte Suprema condenó a Andrés Felipe Arias por Agro Ingreso Seguro". El Espectador (in Spanish) (Bogotá). 3 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  20. ^ http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/judiciales/a-interpol-se-solicitara-captura-del-exministro-arias/20140718/nota/2327319.aspx
  21. ^ http://lainfo.es/en/2014/07/18/colombia-asked-interpol-to-arrest-the-former-minister-arias/
  22. ^ Colombia, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (14 December 2011). "Decreto 3315 de 2008". Diario Oficial (in Spanish) (Bogotá) (47,103). ISSN 0122-2112. OCLC 500057889. Retrieved 21 May 2013.