Petro's son's ex-wife accuses him of receiving drug money for campaign
Deputy Nicholas Petroson of the Colombian president, Gustavo Petrowas accused by his ex-wife, Day Vásquez, of having received money from drug dealer Samuel Santander Lopesierra, alias the Marlboro man, for his father's presidential campaign, which however never reached that destination.
Vásquez assured in an interview with the magazine Week that the Marlboro man gave to the son of Petro, deputy in the Assembly of the Caribbean department of Atlántico (north), "more than 600 million pesos (about $124,700) for the dad's campaign.”
“That never made it to the campaign legally because he kept that moneyand so on, "added the woman, who mentioned that Nicolás Petro also received 200 million pesos (about $41,500) from businessman Alfonso "Turco" Hilsaca that did not go to the campaign either.
The accusations are known hours after President Petro published a statement in which he asked the Prosecutor's Office to investigate your brother John Ferdinand and to Nicolás, who is his eldest son, without giving further details.
"Due to the information that is rumored in public opinion about my brother Juan Fernando Petro Urrego and my eldest son Nicolás Petro Burgos, I ask the attorney general of the nation to advance all necessary investigations and determine possible responsibilities”, stated the president.
Petro made reference to alleged meetings in prisons where, according to some versions, people around him were posing as members of the Government to contact criminals and offer to include them in the "total peace" program in exchange for money, a suspicion that falls in his brother but to which his son has not been linked.
Defense of the son of Petro
The president's son assured for his part in a statement that, contrary to what his ex-wife claims, he has not had a deal neither with "the Marlboro man" nor with the "Turk" Hilasca, people whom he said he did not know.
Nicolás Petro added that he has not "received any type of support, either directly or indirectly" from these people, for which reason he requested "an investigation to clarify and protect my honor and good name."
Lopesierra, the man marlborosamassed a fortune in the 1980s on the Atlantic coast with the cigarette and contraband liquor trade and was elected senator in 1994, the same year that the United States authorities affirmed that he was part of a criminal network dedicated to the asset laundering.
He was captured in 2002 and extradited to the US in 2003, where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking but he was released in 2021, before serving the entire sentence imposed by a judge in the Federal District of Columbia.
Alfonso Hilsaca Eljaude, the Turk Hilsacais another controversial businessman who investigations by the Prosecutor's Office link to criminal organizations, including paramilitary groups and administrative corruption mafias, for which he has been deprived of liberty on several occasions.
In 2009 he was captured after being linked to the massacre of four people in Cartagena de Indias, but was released after eight months due to lack of evidence. In 2010 he returned to prison after being accused by several paramilitary leaders of collaborating with them and in 2014 they arrested him again for another murder. Every time he walked free.
Petro's son also assured that "he is a mistake of the Presidency link me to such a serious issue linked to corruption by criminal organizations that seek to hinder total peace.”
In his statement today, President Petro recalled that "the only official who has the endorsement of the Government to have contact with organizations outside the law with the sole objective of seeking peace is the High Commissioner for Peace , Danilo Rueda”.
According to the president, "whoever wants to interfere in that purpose (of total peace) or take personal advantage of it, has no place in the Government, even if they are members of my family."
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