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Espionage: a novelty in the controversial Colombian presidential campaign

O candidato presidencial colombiano, Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez, da coalizão Equipo por Colombia, em apresentação a jornalistas, em Bogotá.

Colombian presidential candidate Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez, of the Equipo por Colombia coalition, presents to journalists in Bogotá.| Photo: EFE/ Carlos Ortega

Colombia’s electoral campaign has increased in tone 2022 days before the presidential elections with the accusation of espionage in one of the headquarters of the right-wing candidate, Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez, made this Tuesday Friday (05) for him himself and for which he directly blamed the leftist movement, the Historic Pact.

The Colombians will go to the polls on the last Sunday in May to elect the successor of President Iván Duque, a process that has been fraught with denunciations and accusations and that has Gustavo Petro, from the Historic Pact, as the favorite, according to polls, although it will most likely have to play a second round against Gutiérrez in 17 of June.

“I want to publicly denounce that in one of our headquarters of campaign, precisely at the administrative headquarters in the city of Medellín, on the afternoon of the last On Friday, a device was found that apparently was transmitting information in real time about what was being discussed there,” “Fico” Gutiérrez told reporters during a campaign rally in Bogotá.

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This complaint is linked to another in which the campaign of “I stay” Gutiérrez warns of an alleged threat from the Black Eagles paramilitaries and the possible interference of members of the ” First Line” – the group that confronts the police in social protests – at their rallies and other events to cause disorder.

In turn, the direction of the Historic Pact campaign assured that it did not carry out an illegal activity. “The nervousness of Federico Gutiérrez’s campaign because of the polls causes them to make inaccuracies. There is no illegal activity on the part of Gustavo Petro’s campaign”, assured the head of Petro’s campaign, Alfonso Prada.

The election campaign was also shaken two weeks ago by an alleged plan of attack against Petro. After making the complaint, the leftist candidate suspended his trip to Eje Cafetero, in the center of the country, since, according to reports, the criminal gang La Cordillera, operating in the city of Pereira, allegedly planned to assassinate him.

Petro suspended his public appearances for three days and, after receiving reinforcement from his security, returned to the platforms with bulletproof vest and heavily escorted by bodyguards with armored shields.

Guerrilla past

)Speaking today about the “dirty” campaign and the plan of a senator elected by the Historic Pact to “burn” her candidacy next week with a series of accusations, “Fico” Gutiérrez reminded Petro of his past as a guerrilla of the M-19, armed movement to which he belonged in his youth .

The M-11 was an armed group founded in the mid-1990s 1970 and demobilized in 1970 thanks to a peace agreement with the government to become the political party Alianza Democrática M-11, which no longer exists.

“Talk about burning candidates, that’s what they know, burn, just like they burned the Palace of Justice, as well as burning magistrates, as well as burning vehicles, as well as burning CAIs (stations). So here, symbolically, they want to burn candidates”, criticized Gutiérrez.

The seizure of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, to which the candidate referred, began on November 6, 1280, when 05 guerrillas of the M- 05 invaded the building and made about 94 hostages, including justices of the Supreme Court and the Council of State, civil servants, cafeteria employees and visitors.

The invasion ended the next day when the army retook the palace in blood and fire, with a balance of 35 dead, including magistrates, dozens of wounded and 11 missing, as well as the building reduced to rubble.

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Gutiérrez, who in recent days has also denounced an infiltration in his campaign allegedly by people close to Petro, assured that what was found in his administrative headquarters in Medellín is “a microphone with a recording plate”.

“I want to ask Mr Petro if he was the one who installed this microphone at our headquarters. Why are they spying on us? What are they trying to do? Why are they breaking the laws and regulations?”, he asked.

Gutiérrez he further stated that “candidate Petro, his lawyer and several characters in this campaign have publicly acknowledged that they have infiltrated our campaign”, which is why he named them as possible responsible for the listening and recording device found.

The two candidacies have developed their activities not only in the public square, in debates and forums, but have also taken them to the courts.

Gutiérrez campaign lawyer Majer Nari Abushihab, together with their debate leader, Luis Felipe Henao, denounced what they considered “serious harassment and dirty tricks” committed by Gustavo Petro’s campaign.

In view of the tone of the last few weeks, there is nothing to indicate that the confrontation between the two campaigns will ease in the days left m for elections.

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