Suspicions were raised when the Association of Higher Education Institution of Antioquia and of the Coffee Region released poll results which varied wildly from previous polls. Various media investigated and found that no such organizations were registered with the National Electoral Council (CNE).
When El Espectator contacted the Coffee Region organization, they spoke to Ramiro Montanar Castrillon, who assured them the organization’s application for recognition was being processed by the CNE.
Further investigation revealed the representative of the Antioquia organization was the same Ramiro Montanar.
When journalist Daniel Coronell investigated, he discovered that there was no one officially registered under that name in all of Colombia.
Following this revelation, Montanar disappeared without a trace, with his cell phone and email accounts deactivated.
According to El Espectador, the Vasquez campaign is working closely with the Luis Perez mayoral campaign, which is managed by JJ Rendon, a Venezuelan political campaigner renowned for dirty tricks campaigning.
In Quindio the questioned poll showed independent candidate Sandra Paola Hurtado with an unexpected 15% lead over rival Belen Sanchez.
Both candidates admitted that “black campaigning” had arrived in the election.
Hurtado told El Espectador, “Although the polls are an important point of reference… you have to admit that a there exists a black campaign of discrediting people.”
Liberal candidate Sanchez claimed, “there has been a really ugly campaign here…it is a dirty campaign but we don’t know where it is coming from.”
She added, “I don’t dare state that it is from the campaign of Mrs. Hurtado.”
The CNE is currently investigating the suspicious polls.