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Columbia. Nicolas Petro, a congressman and son of President Gustavo Petro, was arrested

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Nicolas Petro, a Colombian congressman and privately the son of the Colombian president, has been arrested as part of an investigation into money laundering and illegal enrichment, the Colombian prosecutor general’s office announced on Saturday. The police also arrested the politician’s ex-wife.

Nicolas Petro was under investigation by the Attorney General’s office in early March over allegations of accepting money from drug dealers who allegedly demanded their involvement in peace negotiations between the authorities Colombia and criminal organizations in the Caribbean region, reminds the CNN station. The congressman on March 2 issued a statement denying the allegations against him. He claimed that they were merely political and personal attacks against him, aimed at destroying his career.

On Saturday, it was reported that the politician was detained and flown from the city of Barranquilla to the headquarters of the attorney general’s office in Bogotá, Reuters reported, citing sources in the police and prosecutor’s office.

An arrest warrant has also been issued against Nicolas Petro’s ex-wife, Daysuris del Carmen Vasquez Castro, who is suspected of, among other things, about money laundering. Videos have surfaced in Colombian media showing the two being escorted to a government plane by security agents.

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Son of Colombian President Nicolas PetroReuters

The president spoke. “I wish my son good luck and strength”

Colombian President Gustavo Petro commented on the detention of his eldest son on social media. He confessed that this situation was painful for him, but assured that he would not “intervene or press” the prosecutor general’s office in this matter. “Let the trial proceed according to the law,” he said.

“I wish my son good luck and strength. Let these events shape his character and let him reflect on his own mistakes,” the president wrote on Twitter.

“All eyes on Gustavo Petro”

According to the Washington Post, the arrests come months after a high-profile interview with Nicolas Petro’s ex-girlfriend gave Semana magazine. Vasquez, who split from the congressman over an alleged affair with one of her friends, accused the politician of spending money donated to his father’s presidential campaign to fund a lavish lifestyle. “That money never went to his father’s campaign,” she said.

Colombian President Gustavo PetroPAP/EPA/PRESIDENCY OF COLOMBIA/HANDOUT

The arrest of the Colombian president’s son also comes weeks after the leak of audio recordings involving the president’s chief of staff and the Colombian ambassador to Venezuelawhich indicate that they may have misappropriated campaign funds. Gustavo Petro fired both officials after the Attorney General launched an investigation into the matter.

“After these scandals, all eyes are on Gustavo Petro,” writes The Washington Post, pointing to dwindling support for the incumbent president. The daily adds that these events will also test the independence of the Colombian judiciary, considered one of the best functioning in a region plagued by corruption.

CNN, Washington Post, Reuters

Main photo source: Reuters



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