Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ex-Air Force Chief Jailed Over Payments

Former air force commander Ramon Vega was arrested on charges that he illegally took $2.9 million in public funds. The funds were commissions from a 1994 purchase of 25 used Mirage jets from Belgium. (See December 2007 post.) Three other retired officers also were held. The government's spokesman said all military acquisitions have been made "government to government" since the administration of Pres. Ricardo Lagos (2000-06). In other words, military leaders have made purchases with the consent of the government. It used to be that the armed forces made their own deals, with little oversight. But the military's reform has resulted in greater civilian authority over procurement matters.

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