Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos has accused his rival in the upcoming presidential elections of running a “criminal campaign” in light of the recent video confirming the links between Zuluaga and hacker Andres Sepulveda.
Th upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for Sunday 25 May experienced the latest controversy over the weekend when a video emerged showing Democratic Center candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, backed by former president Alvaro Uribe, in conversation with the arrested hacker Andres Sepulveda.
Speaking on Monday, Santos declared that Zuluaga was running a “criminal campaign” in light of Sepulveda’s hacking program, which spied on the ongoing peace talks between the government and the FARC in Havana, Cuba, as well as a number of politicians and the US military.
“We are now entering a phase of criminal campaigning that is totally unacceptable,” Santos said on Blu Radio.
|“When you attack opponents with lies that’s a dirty war . But there is a line, which is between dirty wars and crimes, and here we are now entering a third sphere which is a criminal campaign. No one can point out that in our campaign there is a dirty war, I’m looking for peace”|
“The country asks that people stop telling lies. We hope that justice will be done against this video,” he continued.
Santos declared that his campaign could not be considered dirty.
“When you attack opponents with lies that’s a dirty war. But there is a line, which is between dirty wars and crimes, and here we are now entering a third sphere which is a criminal campaign. No one can point out that in our campaign there is a dirty war, I’m looking for peace,” declared Santos.
Enemies of peace have reached an extreme
Also on Monday and speaking at the graduation ceremony of 236 national police lieutenants on Monday, Santos declared that he “never imagined that the enemies of peace would reach the extremes that they have arrived at,” in light of the same hacking scandal.
In the latest plot twist in the unprecedented electoral spying scandal, a video obtained on Saturday by news magazine Semana showed that Zuluaga and his adviser Luis Alfonso Hoyos were closer to the hacker than originally revealed.
Zuluaga had previously denied having contact with Andres Sepulveda but changed his story last weekend.
Santos’ accusation of Zuluaga running a “criminal campaign” may yet become a reality as depending on the testimony of aides to Zuluaga, Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office will decide whether or not to open a criminal investigation on the embattled candidate over a wiretap scandal.
Furthermore, as a result of the video, Santos and other presidential candidates have asked for Zuluaga to immediately resign from the race due to the scandal.
Sepulveda was arrested on May 6 for running a hacking program from an office in Bogota where he illegally obtained information from the peace talks in Bogota and hacked into the accounts of several politicians including President Juan Manuel Santos.