The Conservative Party candidate in Colombia’s election said she was victim to a “black” smear effort after someone altered a photo of her.
Marta Lucia Ramirez took to Twitter herself to fight back against a doctored photo of her going viral on social media.
The photo shows the presidential hopeful holding a banner with a message signaling her support for Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who has received fierce criticism for a deepening wiretapping scandal that has emerged from his campaign, and who’s ideologically aligned with Ramirez.
Profile: Marta Lucia Ramirez
In the fake photo, Ramirez’s sign reads “our support goes to Zuluaga for the montage created against him,” a reference to a video that surfaced this weekend showing Zuluaga apparently discussing illicitly obtained military intelligence with an arrested computer hacker who worked for the candidate’s campaign until his arrest earlier this month.
Zuluaga has called the video a “montage” and accused the frontrunner, President Juan Manuel Santos, of infiltrating his campaign.
The original photo in fact showed the Conservative Party candidate holding a banner speaking out against child recruitment in Colombia’s longstanding armed conflict, while calling for “peace under conditions” with rebel group FARC that is currently negotiating an end to the rebels’ participation in Colombia’s 50-years-long armed conflict.
Ramirez tweeted the original, saying, “I reject ALL forms of montage and media manipulation. This is the original image they altered.” And, in an apparent reference to the #WePlayFair hashtag used in the doctored photo, “We play fair.”
Rechazo TODO tipo de montaje y manipulación mediática. Esta es la imagen original que alteraron. ¡Juguemos limpio! pic.twitter.com/hKoKcuKDqx
— Marta Lucía Ramírez (@mluciaramirez) May 19, 2014
The Conservative Party candidate did not make any explicit mention to the Zuluaga campaign, though she did go on to denounce the extent to which the wiretapping scandal has dominated the political discourse surrounding the campaign. The hacker considered the primary suspect in the criminal investigation into the intelligence breach was a social media contractor hired by the Zuluaga campaign.
According to the latest poll, Zuluaga is the second favorite to make it into a second round runoff election, which seems all but inevitable given the consistent polling data. A second round vote would be required if none of the candidates surpasses a 50% absolute majority during May 25 voting. Ramirez, meanwhile, stands at 4th place, with 9,7 per cent, behind centrist Enrique Peñalosa.
- Campaña negra en redes contra Marta Lucía Ramirez (El Espectador)