Former Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos has called claims that he eavesdropped on a fellow party rival “crazy” and lashed out at the Colombian media for reporting on the story.
With polls indicating he had at least 55% of the vote, Santos, who recently announced he will be running for mayor of Bogota, was once considered the likely frontrunner to receive the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) nomination to take on his cousin, President Juan Manuel Santos, for the presidency in recent elections. Instead, presidential runner-up Oscar Ivan Zuluaga walked away with the party nod, following a nomination convention marred by accusations of fraud and untoward dealings.
Accusations have since emerged that both Santons and Zuluaga were monitoring each other’s communications and plotting to subvert the other’s candidacy. An Ecuadorian hacker arrested during Zuluaga’s presidential wiretapping scandal claimed that during the heated party primary, both Democratic Center party leaders were using the services of hackers to spy on each other.
In response to the allegations, Francisco Santos wrote several scathing tweets blaming the Colombian media, in particular Noticias Uno, for propagating the claims, saying, “The new Colombian media is at the service of power. They run filtered information without verifying and then ask for reactions.”
Yo ordeno, el Presidente. Yo filtro, el Fiscal. Yo publico, Noticias Uno. Yo ordeno pauta, el Presidente otra vez. Y todos tan contentos.
— Pacho Santos (@PachoSantosC) June 24, 2014
This tweet reads, “I give the orders, the president. I filter, the prosecutor general. I publish, Noticias Uno. I order the propoganda, the president again. And everyone’s happy.”
“We have no idea where they come up with such craziness, why they bring this topic up, all they want to do is damage us, but the worst of it all is that Prosecutor General, Eduardo Montealegre encourages these type of things,” said the former vice-president to Senator-elect Alvaro Uribe, the Democratic Center party leader, according to Colombia’s Vanguardia newsite.
The new allegations represent the latest issue to bring down the ire of the Colombian right on the Prosecutor General’s Office, which members of the Democratic Center have widely accused of political favoritism.
Most recently, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced one week before first round presidential elections that a video showing Zuluaga collaborating with an alleged hacker accused of subverting ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group, the country’s largest, was indeed authentic, despite the candidate’s claims to the contrary.
Montealegre himself has traded blows with Alvaro Uribe, who refused to submit evidence of alleged electoral fraud to the Prosecutor General’s Office because of its alleged bias.
- Francisco Santos (Twitter)
- Francisco Santos desmiente que haya ‘chuzado’ a Zuluaga (Vanguardia)