Two Colombian diplomats to the United States and one to Venezuela were suspended from their electoral duties for allegedly encouraging Colombian expatriates to vote for particular candidates in Sunday’s upcoming election.
A Colombian consul working in New York, Elsa Gladys Cifuentes, was suspended after she reportedly participated in the campaign of Jaime Buenahora who is a candidate seeking to represent Colombians in New York.
Another Colombian consul in New York, Cristian Rodriguez, and the Vice-Consul of San Cristobal, Venezuela Roziluz Sepulveda were suspended after allegedly calling on state officials to vote for Juan Manuel Corzo in the House of Representatives in return for money.
All of these incidents would represent a conflict of interests for the consuls if they prove to be true and the allegations of vote buying is particularly alarming given a widespread fear of electoral fraud in the March 9 elections.
All three diplomats have been suspended by the Foreign Secretary’s Office from their electoral functions until after the election takes place on Sunday in a bid to increase the transparency of the elections, says national news. The three consul workers are expected to continue their other consular duties in the meantime.