Colombia’s Inspector General’s office will investigate threats to a journalist accused by former President Alvaro Uribe of having evidence regarding electoral fraud taking place in Sunday’s presidential elections, the government office said.
Journalist Juan Carlos Giraldo, a reporter national RCN television station, was brought into the spotlight by a June 10 tweet by former president and senator-elect Uribe which said that Giraldo had evidence that the National Registry was going to commit electoral fraud in favor of incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos during the June 15 presidential elections.
Giraldo immediately responded on twitter rejecting Uribe’s claims. “I confess I am scared,” Giraldo tweeted after stating, “Attention! I have never affirmed or accused the National Registry of supposed corruption in favor of Santos.” In the wake of the allegations, Giraldo has reportedly received threatening and anonymous phone calls and text messages.
Alarma:Juan Carlos Giraldo,Rcntv,manifiesta que Registraduria arreglaría reelección de Santos llenando tarjetones que cubran margen de error
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) June 11, 2014
In response to the threats, the Prosecutor General’s Office stated that it would look into the matter after it was “Formally informed of a situation that can affect the security and integrity of journalist Juan Carlos Giraldo and his family.”
The twitter back and forth between Giraldo and Uribe continued into the next day with Uribe urging Giraldo to “take advantage of his contacts in the Inspector General’s office to report what he knows about the National Registry fraud in favor of Santos.”
Senator-elect Uribe’s candidate for Colombia’s presidency, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga ,was defeated in Sunday’s elections, prompting a series of allegations by Uribe of massive electoral fraud. Following Zuluaga’s speech after the results were announced, Uribe claimed Santos had the most “corrupt campaign in history” with record amounts of vote buying.
The Prosecutor General’s Office stated that any kind of threat on a journalist “seriously affects the fundamental rights to freedom of press and expression enshrined in the Constitution of Colombia rights.”
Giraldo announced on his twitter on Monday that he was leaving the country, but assured his followers that it was a pre-planned vacation and that he would return.