Carlos Albornoz Plata, the campaign manager of Andres Felipe Arias, and 40 other regional coordinators of Arias’ campaign formally announced their decision to support Santos for president rather than Conservative Party candidate Noemi Sanin.
Arias lost to Sanin in the Conservative Party primaries, and the two have since been clashing in public.
Fifty high-profile members of the Conservative Party on Wednesday announced their decision to support Santos’ bid for the presidency, citing Conservative Party in-fighting as the reason their defection.
Sanin was asked in an interview if she felt that Arias had robbed poor farmers when he was agricultural minister, to which she answered “yes.”
Sanin’s comments set off a firestorm within the party, with Arias taking umbrage at the suggestion that he is “a thief.”
Arias is currently under investigation for his role in the AIS agricultural subsidies scandal. It is alleged that during his time as agricultural minister, Arias distributed subisidies meant for poor farmers to wealthy families and companies, and has since received electoral financial support from beneficiaries of the subsidies.