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Colombia Cabinet Publishes Tax Returns in Transparency Drive

  • Associated Press

FILE - Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas (C) delivers a speech during a news conference in Bogota, Oct. 26, 2015.

FILE - Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas (C) delivers a speech during a news conference in Bogota, Oct. 26, 2015.

Colombians are getting their first look at the wealth of senior government officials after President Juan Manuel Santos published his entire Cabinet's tax returns as part of an anti-corruption push.

Topping the list is leftist Labor Minister Clara Lopez with income last year of $335,000. That compares to annual earnings of around $3,000 for almost half of Colombia's workforce earning the minimum wage.

Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas appears to be the richest of Santos' aides, with declared properties and business interests worth over $1.6 million.

Few countries in Latin America require senior officials to publicly disclose their wealth. But pressure for more accountability has been building as corruption scandals hit governments from Mexico to Brazil at a time of mounting economic challenges across the region.

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