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Protesting Colombians call for chief prosecutor to resign

BOGOTA — Thousands of Colombians have staged protests to demand the resignation of the country’s chief prosecutor.

Nestor Humberto Martinez is a key U.S. ally in the war on drugs, but his critics at home say he has obstructed an investigation that links Colombian politicians and business groups with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

In November a news channel aired a recording in which Martinez berates an internal auditor for raising concerns that Odebrecht had bribed politicians to secure a $2 billion highway project in Colombia.

The recording angered many Colombians, who have long been skeptical of the country’s law enforcement institutions.

Before becoming Colombia’s chief prosecutor, Martinez was legal counsel for the Aval organization, a banking group that partnered with Odebrecht to develop the highway whose financing is now under investigation.

The Associated Press