Audio proves Duque’s party conspired with narcos to rig Colombia’s presidential election

Maria Claudia Daza and President Ivan Duque while partying with a drug money launderer.

Wiretap recordings made public on Sunday proved that President Ivan Duque’s party conspired with an alleged drug money launderer to rig Colombia’s 2018 presidential election.

The bombshell recording proved that the then-assistant of former President Alvaro Uribe, Maria Claudia Daza, was conspiring to rig the election with Jose Guillermo Hernandez, the alleged money launderer and “political arm” of the drug trafficking organization of Marquitos Figueroa.

The recordings from April 2018 proved that Hernandez and Daza did not just seek election fraud in the northern La Guajira and Cesar provinces as a previously leaked wiretap transcript made clear.

The alleged money launderer and Uribe’s former personal assistant also coordinated election fraud in Magdalena, implicating House Representative Edward Rodriguez of Duque’s far-right Democratic Center party, former Defense Minister Guillermo Botero and Colombia’s ambassador to Italy.

The Magdalena mayors

In a recording from April 2018, Daza told Hernandez that she was arranging Duque’s trip to Valledupar, the capital of Cesar, where he appeared at the annual Vallenato Music Festival on April 28.

This trip included a visit to former Defense Minister Guillermo Bolero at the home of Colombia’s ambassador to Italy, Adriana Castro, where Hernandez told Daza he was organizing a secret meeting with mayors from Magdalena to seek their illegal support for the president’s corruption-ridden election.

I have a lot of things on my mind, Jose, because I set up Ivan’s trip, I am organizing everything, but until the last millimeter.

Maria Claudia Daza

Wait, wait, and Ivan arrives when?

Jose Guillermo Hernandez

On Saturday

Maria Claudia Daza

On Saturday at what time? With the morning flight?

Jose Guillermo Hernandez

9:30. From there we go to the headquarters, from there to [festival site] Primero de Mayo and later to Adriana Castro’s home, to Botero. 

Maria Claudia Daza

Caya, wait. I had lunch with Eduardo Rodriguez yesterday. Edward he’s called. I told Edward: ‘I need to talk to you because I have an important issue for him. Important as in very important for his campaign and stuff. I have 15 mayors from Magdalena, 15 who want to have a meeting with him, 15!

Jose Guillermo Hernandez

With Edward?

Maria Claudia Daza

With Edward. Why Edward? With the president, the future president.

Jose Guillermo Hernandez

Uh huh. But he can’t meet with them. I don’t believe that’s legal.

Maria Claudia Daza

No, it isn’t… that’s why I told him to meet at my place. You understand me? With the help of these guys…

Jose Guillermo Hernandez

I know, Jose, but you’ve been saying that for more than a month and you’re arranging nothing…

Maria Claudia Daza

Sweetie, I am going to visit Edward. Look, so Edward called I don’t know who and I’ll tell you why, so he goes to that thing of Guillermo Botero so we can meet in a secluded part, in an office…

Jose Guillermo Hernandez

In Adriana’s Office down there.

Maria Claudia Daza

Castro, who was working at the Colombian embassy in Russia, had rented her apartment to Botero, the president of business association Confenalco at the time.

Duque’s sinking ship

The newly released wiretaps don’t just prove Duque’s party colluded with the mafia to rig the election, but also that Duque’s campaign manager, Luigi Echeverry, lied to weekly Semana when he claimed that Uribe’s personal assistant was not involved in Duque’s presidential campaign.

Uribe, a former Medellin Cartel associate, and other Democratic Center officials have been trying to disassociate themselves from Daza, who resigned and left the country last week.

Uribe’s former personal assistant disappeared one day before Congress had called her to testify about her role in the election fraud conspiracy with the alleged drug money launderer.

Hernandez, like dozens who testified or could have testified about Uribe’s ties to organized crime, and drug trafficking in particular, have been assassinated or died under mysterious circumstances.

The Supreme Court, which was already investigating the former president over his alleged criminal practices, opened a new investigation into the former Medellin Cartel associate’s role in the election fraud conspiracy earlier this month.

The latest recordings are likely to trigger more investigations and add another nail to the coffin of Duque’s party.

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