Son of Colombia's president admits election campaign received illegal money

Son of Colombia's president admits election campaign received illegal money

President Gustavo Petro denied knowing that illegal money entered his campaign through his eldest son, Nicolas Petro

By Laura Gamba

BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) - Nicolas Petro, the eldest son of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, admitted Thursday that his father's presidential campaign received illegal money last year, said the prosecutor handling the case.

"Mr. (Nicolas) Petro provided relevant information that the Prosecutor's Office was unaware of until now," said Mario Andres Burgos.

This included “the financing of the past presidential campaign of the current president and the money that entered that campaign which apparently would have exceeded the minimum limits permitted by the law."

Burgos said that Petro also admitted that the money was contributed by three men linked to drug trafficking and contraband.

The prosecutor said that "part of the money was used by Nicolas Petro and his partner for their personal benefit and another part was invested in the presidential campaign."

The Attorney General's Office released chats, recordings and documents signed by Petro showing cash payments to the campaign and the purchase of a luxury apartment with that money. The National Electoral Council had already opened an investigation into the campaign after some expenses were not reported to the official entities.

Nicolas Petro was arrested Saturday for alleged money laundering and illicit enrichment. His ex-wife, Daysuris Vasquez, was also arrested for money laundering and violation of personal data.

On Thursday evening, President Petro referred to the political and legal turmoil in which his campaign is involved.

He said he had not given orders to any member of his family to commit crimes or authorize illicit procedures in order to come to power.

"Rest assured that this government is ending according to the popular mandate, no one else's, and it is good that this is clear in Colombia,” said Petro in a speech.

“We are not leaving until the year 2026. Any idea to the contrary hopefully fizzles out quickly. I invite people who have other ideas to stop," he added.

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