Prosecutor’s Office files case against Uribe’s former assistant for buying votes for Duque

The Colombian Attorney General’s Office has decided to close the case it had open against the former assistant of former President Álvaro Uribe when he was a senator, María Claudia Daza, for alleged irregular financing of the electoral campaign and vote buying in favor of the outgoing president, Iván Duque, in 2018.

As part of a homicide investigation, conversations were intercepted between Daza and the now deceased cattle rancher and drug trafficker Guillermo ‘Ñeñe’ Hernández in which they discussed «looking for money to go under the table» in La Guajira and the Caribbean region for the runoff that pitted Duque against the now incoming president, Gustavo Petro.

As ‘Ñeñe’ assured a person known as ‘Priscila’ — Daza resigned after it was revealed that she could be one of the voices participating in that conversation — «Ivan» and «Uribe» were responsible for sending him to the cities of Manaure, Uribia, Riohacha and Maicao to «win» in that region.

«We have to get our act together, we have to look for money to pass under the table and release it in the departments», said ‘Ñeñe’ Hernández, who regretted not having the money «that was stolen from Vargas Lleras», in reference to the former Vice President Germán Vargas Lleras during part of Juan Manuel Santos’ term in office.

However, prosecutorial authorities have found no evidence between these conversations and the alleged vote-buying that took place during those elections. For the prosecution, led by lawyer Miguel Ángel del Río, this is «the last act of the Attorney General’s Office’s farewell to President Iván Duque,» local media report.

«This confirms that the prosecutor’s office is an entity in the pocket of President Duque», protested Del Río, who recalled the «personal friendship» that Daza has with both the still Colombian head of state and the attorney general, Francisco Barbosa, whom they asked to be removed from the case because of these facts.

Already in October 2021, the National Electoral Council (CNE) filed the case against President Duque for irregular financing of his 2018 electoral campaign, in the framework of this operation known as ‘Ñeñepolítica’, for lack of inculpatory evidence.

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