Notes On A Scandal

By bogotapost May 16, 2014

SantosZuluagaThe Bogota Post looks at the most dramatic week Colombian politics has had in years…


Saturday 3 May:

Semana columnist Daniel Coronell exposes supposed payments by mafiosos to Santos’ campaign manager J.J.Rendón and to German Chica. Rendón says he didn’t accept a penny but the man has allegedly never been known to work for free.

Sunday 4 May:

In a column in El Tiempo, Maria Isabel Rueda accuses Zuluaga of favouritism to InterBolsa and José Roberto Arango while Finance minister. Perhaps our politicians should just avoid buying newspapers this week.

Monday 5 May:

Rendón resigns from his position as Santos’ campaign manager, allegedly in order “not to harm the campaign of the presidential candidate.”

Tuesday 6 May:

The Santos scandal is blown out of the water by the arrest of Andrés Sepúlveda, a hacker for Zuluaga’s campaign, who possessed confidential information about police and armed forces and was accused of using it to discredit Santos’ campaign and the peace process.

Wednesday 7 May:

Ex-Justice Minister Fernando Londoño writes a column in El Tiempo blaming the Colombian president and his brother Enrique for an attempt on his life. Meanwhile Presidential candidate Zuluaga’s right-hand man resigns after it is revealed that he visited RCN with hacker Andrés Sepúlveda.

Thursday 8 May:

Ex president Alvaro Uribe accuses Santos of accepting a US$2 million loan from Rendón (Monday’ famous friend to mafiosos) during the 2010 presidential campaign. Santos denies the accusation and Uribe fails to provide proof.

Friday 9 May:

Santos’ campaign manager Ricardo Prieto sues Uribe for perjury. Confused yet?

And so goes a week of Colombian scandals. Whether true or not, this type of mud slinging can have real power to affect both approval ratings and voting, a fact that everyone seems to have cottoned on to at the same time. With a real lack of strong debates between candidates in this election period, bringing your opponent into disrepute seems to have become the new weapon of choice.

Original research by Luisa Cardenas Rincón.

By Charlotte Ryan