The United States is designating former Colombian Senator Luis Alberto Gil Castillo for his involvement in significant corruption. Gil Castillo solicited and accepted monetary bribes from a subgroup of the then-U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO) known as the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). The bribe was accepted in exchange for exercising undue political influence in his official capacity as a member of the Colombian Senate. In addition, Gil Castillo later attempted to bribe a witness in a criminal case against him. These actions undermined the stability of Colombia’s democratic institutions and the security of the United States against transnational crime and terrorism.
This public designation is made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022. Under this authority, designated officials of foreign governments involved in significant corruption and their immediate family members are generally ineligible for entry into the United States. The Department is also designating Gil Castillo’s spouse Doris Clemencia Vega Quiróz. These designations follow the U.S. designation under Section 7031(c) in December 2021 of Gil Castillo’s associate, Carlos Julián Bermeo Casas, a former Colombian prosecutor, for engaging in significant corruption.
Today’s actions reinforce Colombia’s own law enforcement and judicial actions against Gil Castillo and reaffirm the commitment of the United States to combat corruption. The United States continues to stand with all Colombians in support of democracy, the rule of law, and will continue to hold accountable those who abuse public power for personal gain.