“Pizano drank from a bottle of water on his father’s desk and was dead from cyanide poisoning within minutes.”
Colombia’s Attorney General
“My father was receiving help from the U.S. because his life was in danger.”
November 24 2018 — Jorge Enrique Pizano, a witness in one of Latin America’s biggest corruption cases, died on November 8 at his home near the Colombian capital Bogotá. Colombian media reported that he had died of a heart attack. His son, Alejandro Pizano Ponce de Leon, died three days later from cyanide poisoning after returning from Barcelona to attend his father’s funeral. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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Colombia’s attorney general has launched a criminal investigation into the deaths of a whistleblower and his son at the center of a corruption probe involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.
Pizano, an auditor for the Ruta del Sol II roadway concession in which Odebrecht was a partner, had been assisting prosecutors investigating allegations that the Brazilian firm paid some $30 million in bribes to secure Colombian infrastructure contracts.
The attorney general’s office said in a statement it began an immediate investigation into the death of both Pizano and his son when it was informed that the son, Alejandro Pizano Ponce de Leon, died on November 11 after returning from Barcelona to attend his father’s funeral.
Pizano had audited a 2010 deal worth $1.7 billion between Odebrecht and Colombian financial firm Grupo Aval and went to their legal advisor, Nestor Humberto Martinez, when he discovered odd payments made by Odebrecht.
Nestor Humberto Martinez is the current attorney general of Colombia. He has recused himself from the investigation. In 2015 Pizano taped Martinez speaking about the strange payments.
Odebrecht has been at the center of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal since acknowledging in a 2016 leniency deal that it bribed officials in a dozen countries.
Colombia — Corruption Whistleblower Dies From “Heart Attack”