BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Rear Adm. Rodrigo Quinones, Colombia’s military attache to Israel, resigned yesterday after U.S. officials accused him of drug trafficking, the defense minister said.
Quinones is the highest-ranking military official in recent memory to be implicated in drug trafficking in Colombia, which produces most of the world’s cocaine and most of the heroin used in the United States. Quinones has also been accused of failing to protect villagers who were massacred in northern Colombia last year by right-wing paramilitary gunmen, when Quinones was stationed in the region.
The State Department last week announced it had revoked Quinones’ U.S. visa because of his alleged involvement in drug trafficking.
“The resignation was accepted by the national government taking into account the need to preserve our military institutions and assure the country … that the members of the security forces are above any stain,” Defense Minister Martha Lucia Ramirez told a news conference. She did not directly refer to the drug allegations.