The Externado de Colombia University has determined this Tuesday that the president of the House of Representatives, the congresswoman from the Democratic Center Jennifer Arias, plagiarized her final thesis in Master in Government and Public Policy.
"The university submitted the text of the thesis to a computer tool for the detection of plagiarism, an operation that yielded a significant number of coincidences with sources or documents published on the internet by authors other than Mrs. Arias and Largo – the latter is Leydi Largo, co-author of the thesis and currently coordinator of the Office of Control of the House of Representatives–".
Given these findings, according to Caracol Radio, the university hired an expert to clarify the possible plagiarism, which, after a month of investigations, has determined that "It became evident that the necessary elements for the existence of an infringement of copyright, consisting of the reproduction or copy of original and protected elements of the aforementioned works, are present.".
"The amount of texts reproduced literally or deliberately paraphrased is ostensible, where a simple reading is enough to deduce the way in which such fragments arrived at the analyzed degree work.", the expert continued, pointing out that the "The only possible explanation for the matches found is the existence of an infringing reproduction or copy of copyright".
The university has specified that it will request the State Council to annul the degrees issued and will send the "relevant documentation" to the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice and to the Prosecutor’s Office. However, the educational institution currently lacks the competence to carry out disciplinary processes or revoke issued degrees.
Arias has reiterated this Tuesday that he has not plagiarized his final degree project. "With the tranquility of always acting under the precepts of the law, I declare that I have not committed any plagiarism", has indicated through his account on the social network Twitter, where he has asked the Externado University to "comply with due process" and allow you "exercise the right of contradiction". "The judicial authorities will clarify these facts", has riveted. Meanwhile, Congress has called for the president’s resignation.