Leaked tapes of Gustavo Petro’s team disrupt campaign in Colombia | Colombia presidential elections

Gustavo Petro during a campaign event in Bogotá, on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.Fernando Vergara (AFP)

The leak of a series of recordings in which various members of Gustavo Petro’s campaign discuss strategies to attack and discredit his political opponents, known a few days before the second round of the presidential election that pitted him against Rodolfo Hernandez, promises haze – and even more so – the final stage of the election that Characterized by the polarization between two opposing options. From the historic pact, the diverse leftist coalition supporting Petro feel themselves victims of an espionage scandal, though the source of the leaks remains unclear, while from other political actors with renewed vigor their ways. for the campaign.

Controversy arose after the magazine was published week On Wednesday evening, it published a set of videos of internal meetings in which a number of members of the Left Alliance participated. It is clear from the recordings, among other things, that they sought in the campaign for damage control before news that the leaders of the Historic Pact were to be exposing criminals in prisons not to extradite them, amid a dust storm of the “social forgiveness” proposal mentioned by Pietro. Or the way they planned to discredit Federico Vico Gutierrez, the candidate of the right, undermines the options of Alejandro Gaviria, one of the candidates for the Center coalition that was eventually headed by Sergio Fajardo.

The controversy emerges as Petro has outpaced Hernandez in the polls, which currently point to a technical tie in the second round on June 19. The former mayor of Bucaramanga, an unclassified politician with a populist and anti-regime rhetoric who has also starred in leaks in which he made violent or sexist statements, kicked off the final stage with some merit, but Petro closed the gap. This Thursday, Hernandez outperformed for the second day in a row in the “tracking” made by GAD3 for RCN, with 48.5% of favorites compared to 46.7%. The 77-year-old businessman, who had already refused to appear in debates with Petro, also announced this Thursday that he has decided to cancel all public appearances until the election, as he claims he fears they will try to assassinate him. .

In his first reaction, the leftist leader indicated that his campaign was in fact the victim of an espionage scandal, and that week She was “desperate” about her rise in the polls. They are simply posting evidence that we have been illegally registered. who is this? The same ones that gave him the recordings: the government. “It should be investigated by an independent commission,” he wrote on Twitter, “Watergate.” He also confirmed that the magazine had hours of recordings made through the Columbia Humana communications platform, and requested that they be published in their entirety, without editing or manipulation, so that each citizen could draw their own conclusions.

The main protagonist of many of the leaks published so far – some of which appear Petro himself, but hardly participate – is Senator Roy Barreras. Regarding the incident of meetings in prisons with so-called “criminals”, despite the lack of clarity in its context, Barreras suggests “exploding” the scandal in a controlled manner as if it were an explosive. In other recordings, it is suggested that roles be taken to take “political actions” with the goal of dividing the center, an exemplary campaign strategy, and go “to attack Alejandro Gaviria”.

Fortunately, when listeners listen to this and the other recordings, they find that what is at all Normal, legal,” Barreras defended himself early Thursday in an interview with snail ray. “There is not even an adjective or insult to the competitors, who are of course in marketing Election threats,” referring to before repeating Petro’s espionage complaint. He pointed out that what the recordings make clear is that “our campaign was spied on, eavesdropped, and hacked; what a crime.”

One of the victims, Alejandro Gaviria, has already indicated that he intends to vote with some reservations for Petro in the second round, considering it a “more responsible, institutional and liberal” option for change. He recently told EL PAÍS that he considers other figures in the political center to underestimate the risks of forming an eventual government headed by Rodolfo Hernandez. As a result of the videos that were circulated, a new publication was published Reflection on your social networks. I have received many attacks. Some of them are vile and liars. From left and right (…) Of course, many attacks and slanders hurt me. But I will not remain ruminating on grudges and gathering grievances.” “I reject pettiness in politics, but I believe that one must make decisions that think above all about the future of democracy and the well-being of all.”

Other political figures used a less conciliatory tone. “I not only share his ideas, but also reject his methods,” said Vico Gutierrez of the right, who did not stop attacking Petro during the campaign. They have spent years smashing everyone who confronts them and not kneeling. They use all forms of combat. They divide tasks in private, so that some of them appear as angels in public. Fajardo, who is also mentioned in the recordings, stated that he had countless disagreements with Petro that had divided the alternate sector and made it clear that he did not intend to vote for him, despite the fact that his shows held several point meetings. “Clean politics can be done. Do not hesitate. The time will come. It is the same as always.”

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