The CV of the leading candidate in Colombia’s presidential elections, Ivan Duque, became even shorter after he was called out for inflating his academic achievements.
The 41-year-old top man of powerful ex-president Alvaro Uribe already had a question mark hanging over his head over his lack of work experience.
Duque appears to never have applied for a job, but was awarded his positions by political allies of his father, a powerful Liberal Party politician.
The Harvard hoax
On his CV, the presidential candidate said he had done “several specializations, including one in negotiation, at Harvard University” with working at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) in Washington DC.
The university said Duque “applied to and was accepted to our Public Financial Management in a Changing World program. However, he did not complete it as he withdrew.”
Siguiendo con el honor a la verdad. De acuerdo a la escuela de gobierno de Harvard (Kennedy) @IvanDuque no completó ningún programa en dicha escuela. Adjunto correo de funcionaria de Harvard Kennedy School. Varios medios en Colombia han dicho que tiene estudios en dicha escuela. pic.twitter.com/deh4mEY4N7
— Alejandro Hoyos (@alhosu) April 3, 2018
What Duque explained as specializations were two five-day courses at the prestigious university, according to Alejandro Hoyos, a university student who verified the candidate’s claims.
The fake policy contributions
The presidential candidate also claimed he had contributed to the formulation of poverty reduction programs for Colombia’s 2010 development plan. This was denied by the coordinator of this project.
“I don’t remember ever talking to Ivan Duque or having received any input from him,” said Roberto Angulo on Twitter.
Me tocó coordinar la escritura del capítulo de pobreza del Plan de Desarrollo 2010 (Santos I) y no recuerdo haber hablado con @IvanDuque ni haber recibido algún insumo de su parte. Al menos por la subdirección a mi cargo no pasó. Aquí el link. https://t.co/ZxhwD1uKed pic.twitter.com/TS7Bmxj1c2
— Roberto Angulo (@RobertoAnguloS) April 1, 2018
Also Duque’s self-proclaimed contributions to a development program for youth, Jovenes en Accion II, were non-existent, said Angulo.
All these claims were subsequently removed from Duque’s website.
What’s left of Duque’s CV?
What is left of Duque’s CV appears to be the career dominated by politically-motivated appointments to the son of a well-connected Liberal Party power broker.
- Law degree (Sergio Arboleda University)
- Master in International Legal Studies (American University)
- Master in Finance and Public Administration (Georgetown University)
- Assistant to finance minister
- Assistant to representative at Inter-American Development Bank
- Culture and creativity chief at Inter-American Development Bank
- Assistant of UN investigation panel
Santos then sent the son of the then-registrar to Washington to assist Colombia’s representative at the IADB.
The Colombian president of the investment bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, appointed Duque chief of the bank’s culture and creativity department, the only executive position ever held by the presidential candidate.
In 2011, Uribe asked Duque to become his assistant at a UN panel that was investigating Israel’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip.
Duque became senator of the opposition Democratic Center party in 2014 without receiving any votes. He remained in virtual obscurity until Uribe appointed him his party’s presidential candidate.