Three married U.S. Marine officers are finding themselves under investigation after a night in Bogota, last February, where the officers found themselves drugged, robbed of US property, and ended up in a foreign emergency room. However, the military says the men broke their rules, by breaking a curfew and bringing back foreign women to their hotel rooms.
The men probably got “burundanga poisoning,” which is well known in that part of the world.
The report recommended that Marine Col. Roger T. McDuffie, a Harrier pilot who serves as the chief of operations at the unit known as MARFORSOUTH; Maj. Andrew L. Mueller, described as a theater security cooperation planner; and Maj. Mauricio Saenz, exercise planner, face “appropriate administrative or judicial proceedings,” says the Miami Herald.
The Miami Herald continues:
That means they could be charged with “conduct unbecoming an officer” at the very least. Marine Col. Michael Farrell, the MARFORSOUTH chief of staff, wrote the report for Marine Brig. Gen. Kevin Iiams, who was the commander at the time of the episode but left the decision on what action to take to Marine Major Gen. David Bellon, who replaced Iiams on Monday.
The trio ventured into a working-class section of Bogotá that is off limits to Pentagon personnel, violated a 1 a.m. curfew and brought four women back to their hotel rooms. The Marines had earlier held a business conference at the hotel, according to Farrell’s report.
At least two of the officers blacked out in their rooms, apparently in the company of two local women, while another officer drew cash advances off his U.S. government travel card and brought two prostitutes to his room, according to the report. Some of the Feb. 3-4 activity was captured on hotel security cameras. The three officers walked four women through the hotel lobby at about 4:30 a.m., past fellow Marine officers who were mustering for a van ride to the airport at the end of the conference.