“They robbed us”: Paloma Valencia assures that Óscar Iván Zuluaga should have been the president of Colombia

“They robbed us”: Paloma Valencia assures that Óscar Iván Zuluaga should have been the president of Colombia

This Wednesday, February 24, the convicted former senator ‘Ñoño’ Elías turned the fan on again about the Odebrecht case and its alleged illegal financing of the reelection campaign of former President Juan Manuel Santos in 2014. The new thing that Elías asserted is that there was an alleged meeting between Santos and Eleuberto Martorelli, Former director of the Brazilian construction company.

These new statements that were given in the trial that is being advanced against Luis Fernando Andrade, Former director of the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI), for this same case, raised a wave of criticism from Uribism that in 2014 accompanied the candidacy of Óscar Iván Zuluaga.

Senator Paloma Valencia was one of those who criticized what was revealed by ‘Ñoño’ about Santos and wrote on her Twitter account: “Óscar Iván Zuluaga should have been the president; They robbed us and to do so they stole the money of all Colombians, giving Odebrecht contracts “.

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There were also investigations regarding the presidential candidate of the Democratic Center for the alleged inflow of money to his campaign, however, in October 2017 the National Electoral Council closed the investigation when it did not find evidence of this complaint.

The Plenary Room “It was able to determine the non-existence of full evidence that allows inferring the income of contributions to Mr. Oscar Iván Zuluaga’s campaign by the Multinational Odebrecht”, the CNE said at the time.

Likewise, it ended the administrative investigation carried out “against Messrs. Óscar Iván Zuluaga Escobar, David Zuluaga Martínez, Norma Maya Hoyos, Víctor Manuel Poveda Poveda, Fernando Londoño Hoyos, Carlos Holmes Trujillo and Susana Correa Borrero.”

Despite the closure of the investigation at the CNE, It is striking that there was a meeting, in February 2014, between Óscar Iván Zuluaga in Sao Paulo, who led the current president Iván Duque, and the political advisor José Eduardo Cavalcanti de Mendonça, known as ‘Duda’ Mendonça, who collaborates with the Brazilian justice on the case of Odebrecht bribes to politicians from that country.

In 2019, in a plenary session of the Senate, Zuluaga assured that all the income and expenses of his campaign remain in the accounts, and that five investigations – among them, some carried out in Brazil – they realize its legality.

(Colprensa - Juan Páez).

(Colprensa – Juan Páez).

Never in my public life have I committed an act of corruption. I have never been part of bribery. I have always acted by facing the country and presenting myself as I am, a citizen who follows the law. I come to tell you that we comply with the Constitution, which in article 29 says that everyone is presumed innocent until they have been judicially declared guilty, ”he said.

As explained by the former candidate before the Brazilian court, the publicist Mendonça denied that he or someone close to him had granted an interview to the Veja magazine of Brazil, in which he allegedly told that Odebrecht paid 1.6 million dollars for his advice to his presidential campaign in 2014.

“Through our attorneys, we obliged Duda Mendonça to attend so that, under the gravity of the oath and before the judges of Brazil, tell the truth of the facts of what had happened with my campaign. In that file, which we gave to the Prosecutor’s Office, very revealing things are said, such as that neither he nor a person related to Veja magazine ever gave him the interview, and that the entire judicial process it did not correspond to the reality of an interview, because he never gave it to him and he told the judges so, “he declared in the plenary session that was convened by former President Álvaro Uribe.

Ben Oakley
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