Can you believe this run in to the Colombian Presidential elections? I can’t. The rattle of tit for tat wars of words on the campaign trail ends up revealing aspersions with more than a grain of truth to them.
“My dear Richard, everything in Colombia happens so fast that the latest scandal is always the penultimate one,” said a friend of mine responding to a news piece I posted on Facebook.
“Guerra sucia entre politicos o guerra entre politicos sucios?” Wrote Adriaan Alsema of Colombia Reports on his wall.
A campaign strategist for President Santos resigned on Monday for having allegedly received US$12 million from drug lords to act as the go-between and negotiate terms of their surrender with the government. If I’m not mistaken JJ Rendon, the man in question, had worked on President Santos’ first campaign and on campaigns in Mexico, Honduras and Venezuela.
On Tuesday, it’s revealed that someone working on the Center Democratic (neither center nor democratic) campaign has been arrested for wire-tapping and accessing emails from the peace talks in Cuba and even perhaps an account belonging to the President. Andres Sepulveda, the “hacker”, had previously worked on campaigns here in Colombia and in Mexico. This suggests that he was already well-known to those who should know better.
On Wednesday, troubles flared up at the Universidad Nacional, farmers continued the strike into its ninth day and taxi drivers in Bogotá – annoyed at not having control over their mafia – blocked a major thoroughfare. Rather than improving their service – standards of driving, cleanliness of their cars, security of the ride, they would prefer to force us into using their service. What’s wrong with healthy competition?
Coach Pekerman has five days to select the team for the World Cup, Semana Magazine is running a countdown. I need only a further 22 stickers to fill my Panini album.
What is going to happen on Thursday thru Sunday? After all, we do live in the happiest country in the world. Let the battle of the egos continue. I remain in disbelief that various presidential campaigns haven’t sunk without a trace. And even Green Party candidate Enrique Penalosa hasn’t been able to effectively capitalize on these scandals.
19 days remaining. The Colombian electorate faces some serious decisions. They must choose between a migraine and diarrhoea.