Colombia’s chief prosecutor became the joke of the day on Monday when he said he would investigate the former opposition candidate over a plot to rig the 2018 elections in favor of President Ivan Duque.
Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa wasn’t trying to be funny at all, but Duque is the chief prosecutor’s friend and the mafia teaming up with Duque’s far-right Democratic Center party in the election rigging plot speaks for itself.
Colombia’s narcos have killed more important people for less, so Barbosa told radio station RCN that “within the report of the investigating prosecutor there is talk of alleged financing of miners in Gustavo Petro’s campaign.”
The opposition senator’s response on Twitter was short, but clear. “Hahahahahahaha,” Petro tweeted.
What conspiracy Barbosa was talking about is unclear as media have the same wiretaps as the prosecution, despite its attempt to conceal the evidence.
Reporters so far have found audio of former President Alvaro Uribe’s former assistant plotting with the late money launderer of drug trafficker Marquitos Figueroa to swing the elections in favor of Duque.
The evidence triggered the Supreme Court to investigate Uribe and Congress to investigate Duque. The only thing Barbosa had to do was file criminal charges against Uribe’s former assistant, Maria Claudia Daza.
This, however, would be like opening Pandora’s Box; Daza was Uribe’s PA for years. She was a witness in the Supreme Court investigation against the former president over his alleged manipulation of witnesses linking him to death squads.
Were Barbosa to do his job, he could destroy his own party, obtain evidence that could throw his friend in jail and risk retaliation from both drug traffickers and the far right.
The chief prosecutor is only 5 foot 6, skinny, balding and spent most his career teaching law at some elite university in Bogota. Barbosa wouldn’t stand a chance against either the narcos or the far-right, let alone both.
The chief prosecutor would probably not stand a chance if he took Petro to court either, but getting laughed is a lot less bad than getting killed.