‘Santos owes money to online campaigners’

A group of students says Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos still owes them money for their online campaigning during the presidential elections earlier this year.

The students told RCN Radio that more than 25 young people formed a team that was meant to be paid to be active on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to improve Santos’ online presence.

During the campaign, the Santos team denied paying people to perform online “guerrilla marketing.”

“We had to comment on a daily basis at different media websites, as well as Facebook, Twitter, etc,” Sara Bernal told the radio station. According to the woman, her team was promised it would be paid by the hour and had a daily quota of the number of comments made. However, “they owe each of us COP750,000 ($400),” said Pedro Suarez, a student who also says he is part of the online campaign team.

The group worked for Link Marketing Visual, the company hired by Santos to coordinate his online campaign after polls showed he was losing the election to Antanas Mockus. Before the elections, the company managed government websites.

According to Link director Fernan Ocampo, the group worked voluntarily and was given bonuses as incentives.

Santos former campaign manager and current High Commissioner for Regions, Miguel Peñaloza, promised RCN the outstanding debt will be paid this week.

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