Petro attributed the scandal that afflicts his government to an opposition “soft coup”

Petro attributed the scandal that afflicts his government to an opposition “soft coup”

Bogotá – The ruling coalition in Colombia announced yesterday that it will denounce the attorney general before Congress for conspiracy and sedition, alleging that he became “a spokesman for the opposition” in the midst of a case of illegal wiretapping that mires the administration of leftist Gustavo Petro.

The president once again mentioned the thesis of the “soft coup.” “Our political rivals have been quick to file complaints against me in the accusations commission. However, in no interview or audio has it been shown that I have committed a crime. It is a simple soft coup attempt to stop the fight against impunity,” the president wrote on Twitter.

The already tense relationship between prosecutor Francisco Barbosa and the president has crossed a new line in recent days, after a scandal that struck down two bishops from Petro’s close circle: former Colombian ambassador to Venezuela Armando Benedetti and his former right-hand man, Laura Sarabia, both removed from their positions on Friday.

The Historical Pact, a leftist coalition led by Petro, reported at a press conference that it will denounce Barbosa before the Lower House for allegedly urging members of the public force to commit acts of “insubordination and disobedience”, which constitutes crimes of sedition and conspiracy.

“Prosecutor Barbosa, rather than acting as head of the Prosecutor’s Office, has decided to openly intervene in politics and therefore somehow abandon the constitutional mandate to sadly become a spokesman for the opposition,” the senator declared at a press conference. official Maria Jose Pizarro.

“He may be using his power, more and more against this government, to commit this type of crime in the public force,” added the president of the Chamber, David Racero.

The scandal began at the end of May after the theft of a briefcase with thousands of dollars from Sarabia’s house, in a case that Barbosa has personally followed and describes as “abnormal.”

Petro asked the prosecutor to use the same “urgency” that he has in cases against his government to investigate those responsible for drug trafficking and corruption.

Barbosa was elected in 2020 by the Supreme Court from a shortlist proposed by former right-wing president Iván Duque (2018-2022), his former university classmate. In power since August and in the antipodes of the former president, Petro must choose a new shortlist in December.

After the briefcase was stolen, Sarabia’s nanny was questioned with a polygraph at the presidential headquarters and then investigators intercepted her phone conversations using a false police report linking her to drug traffickers, the prosecutor said at the time.

Sarabia and Benedetti, who shared the same babysitter, ended up estranged and in a fight that turned into threats.

The local journalistic magazine Semana published some recordings in which the former ambassador is heard threatening his former collaborator with revealing illegal financing to the Petro campaign for some 3.5 million dollars.

Now the electoral authority is investigating the origin of those funds and summoned both to testify about alleged illegal contributions.

“I do not accept blackmail, nor do I see politics as a space for personal favors,” said Petro.

Benedetti apologized Monday on Twitter for the leaks loaded with insults and blackmail.

“In an act of weakness and sadness, I let myself be carried away by anger and drinking,” he said in the same network. The former diplomat is a seasoned traditional politician who was key in the victory that led to the first left-wing government in the history of the South American country. Benedetti has been pointed out by members of the government for having alleged problems with alcoholism and cocaine addiction.

Source: Ambito

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