Colombia’s Attorney General charged Fernando Trujillo Gómez (above) with 18 counts of food corruption and procedural fraud after taking down a macabre conspiracy run by Trujillo and accomplices to sell meat from sick and dead donkeys and horses to local school systems, after first chemically treating the meat to appear more like beef, and give it a palatable texture. After chemical treatment, the racket then vacuum packed and labeled the meat as beef before supplying it to schools.
Between May 2018 and September 2019, Trujillo sold up to 5,511 pounds of meat per week to school lunch operators in the Northeast Colombian city of Bucaramanga and the surrounding department of Santander. Prosecutors said Trujillo made over 500 million pesos ($134,000 USD) on the fraud.
#ATENCIÓN | #Fiscalía logró judicialización de Fernando Trujillo Gómez, alias El Padrino o El Gemelo, presunto responsable de vender carne de caballo y de burro a operadores del Plan de Alimentación Escolar en #Bucaramanga y municipios de #Santander. Juez lo envió a la cárcel. pic.twitter.com/HmNSZ2fkl9
— Fiscalía Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) September 18, 2020
Trujillo would purchase old, sick or dead horses and donkeys from Colombia’s Atlantic Coast and then shipped them to Bucaramanga under false documentation to avoid phytosanitary controls. There the animals were butchered, treated with chemicals to alter the texture, making it softer and coloring it red, before being vacuum packed and falsely labeled.
During hearings, prosecutors presented intercepted communications between Trujillo and his alleged accomplices, in which he told them to inject the meat with more chemicals because it was very tough and the schools could not cook it; as well as messages in which he coordinated the evasion of government sanitary controls to move the horses and donkeys, among other illegal activities.
Photos: Fiscalía Generál de la Nación