The candidacy of Jose Obdulio Gaviria, the cousin of the drug lord and Uribe’s former presidential adviser, had already been criticized by Liberals who considered the candidacy a slap in the face of victims of the former drug lord and went as far as describing Gaviria’s role in the Uribe administrations to that of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
But also within the “Uribista” ranks, the candidacy of Gaviria has caused unrest.
“The public opinion makes evident that your presence on the list does neither help you, nor primary candidate Francisco Santos, nor President Uribe nor the country. The circumstances demand of you the supreme gesture of loyalty; that of withdrawing your aspiration for the sake of the success of the Democratic Center and the country,” wrote Zuluaga.
— Oscar Ivan Zuluaga (@OIZuluaga) September 24, 2013
The call to withdraw followed a photo of Gaviria in what seemed to be a party with Escobar published by the brother of former Conservative President Juan Carlos Pastrana.
In the photo, Escobar is seen posing in front of a man that looks like Gaviria.
¿Quién es el personaje que está a espaldas de Pablo Escobar en la foto? pic.twitter.com/e1EotBnDLt
— Juan Carlos Pastrana (@jcpastrana) September 20, 2013
Gaviria refused to directly respond to the political storm. Instead he published a three-point statement on his website.
- Continue to spread the Uribista doctrine
- Before internal attacks in CD: Silence
- Before attacks from the enemy: Combative response
Declaración 1.Seguir difundiendo doctrina uribista 2.Ante ataques internos en CD: silencio 3.Ante ataques del enemigo: respuesta combativa — Jose Obdulio Gaviria (@JOSEOBDULIO) September 24, 2013
Gaviria is currently under criminal investigation for his alleged role in an alleged conspiracy between the presidency and former paramilitaries to discredit the country’s Supreme Court.