Political activists promoting a blank vote in Colombia’s upcoming congressional elections have released a selfie of what they claim is a conservative congressmen naked with a “lady friend.”
In a political propaganda post on the activists’ Facebook page, the group posted the highly intimate photo of what they claimed to be House Representative Gustavo Hernan Puentes (Conservative Party) standing besides a woman who apparently is inspecting her private parts.
“Meanwhile, Congressman Gustavo Puentes is spending the money of the marmalade[, jobs and political posts informally distributed among politicians,] in lady friends,” the text accompanying the photo said.
The activists blame Puentes and other “gentlemen” in Colombia’s Congress of hypocrisy; Puentes’ Conservative Party has traditional strong ties with the Catholic Church and commonly promotes traditional Catholic family values.
The publication of the photo was not received well by all; In some of the responses, the activists were criticized for the type of propaganda used in the electoral campaign.
“So, because he’s a politician he can’t have relationships? How saintly are those who publish and criticize this… I agree that almost all politicians are a farce, but this to me seems like messing with someone’s private life,” one of the people said on the social media website.
Political analyst Kevin Howlett of website Colombia Politics told Colombia Reports the campaign might backfire.
“Rightly or wrongly, private lives are usually pretty much off limits in Colombian politics. I’m not convinced the voto en blanco team will win much support by using the moralizing tone and salaciousness we usually see in US or North European campaigns,” said Howlett.
“We’re on course for the most bitterly contested elections in recent memory. Months of muckraking and skullduggery lie ahead,” the analyst added.
Puentes, a senior lawmaker from the central state of Boyaca, became the center of controversy mid-way through his term in Congress over a judicial reform that failed after a group of lawmakers deformed the bill to include judicial benefits for themselves in the event they are investigated for criminal activity.
Colombia’s State Council is officially investigating Puentes and 11 of his colleagues over the scandal which could leave the politicians barred from holding public office.
The blank-vote activists have used Facebook to expose alleged acts of corruption of aspiring congressmen while calling on the Colombian electorate to cast a blank vote.
- VOTO En Blanco, Colombia (Facebook)