Colombia’s prosecution surprisingly announced a raid on the main office of the ruling Democratic Center (CD) party as part of a 2018 elections fraud probe.
The unusual warning ahead of the raid is the latest in a series of irregularities in the investigation into the ties between the CD and the drug trafficking organization of Marquitos Figueroa.
The investigation into the allegedly fraudulent election of President Ivan Duque is led by chief prosecutor Francisco Barbosa, a personal friend of the president.
Since when are raids announced?
The director of the prosecution’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CTI), Alberto Acevedo, gave the CD a public heads up on Wednesday morning that a raid would take place in the afternoon.
Acevedo said the raid would take place in the middle of a series of interrogations of party bosses over the plot to commit election fraud that was revealed by investigative journalists earlier this year.
Among those who have been interrogated are CD director Nubia Stella Martinez, former campaign manager Luis Guillermo Echeverry, La Guajira campaign chief Priscilla Cabrales and Maria Claudia Daza, the former personal assistant of former President Alvaro Uribe, the party’s leader.
Former Miss Colombia Maria Monica Urbina, the widow of Figueroa’s late money launderer Jose Guillermo Hernandez, will also be interrogated, according to the CTI chief.
Can this investigation disappear?
The wiretap recordings of Uribe’s former PA discussing “moving money under the table” with the money launderer weeks before the second round of the elections triggered multiple investigations.
While the prosecution is investigating the party bosses, Congress is investigating the president’s alleged involvement and the Supreme Court is investigating Uribe.
Despite the irregularities committed under Barbosa’s watch, the political and judicial pressure is so high it is almost impossible to make the scandal go away.
Furthermore, the evidence revealed by journalists Gonzalo Guillen and Julian Martinez is confirmed by fugitive politician Aida Merlano, who is testifying against incoming Senate president Arturo Char.