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Colombia’s Petro Party Scandal: The Intricate Web of Payments, Politics, and Drug Accusations

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Pacto histórico, imágen de twitter
Dive into the Pacto Histórico’s Scandal surrounding payments to Aerial Society and the campaign’s response. Credit: X /@PactoCol

The “Pacto Histórico” parliamentary group in the Senate, through the “Comité Político Nacional” (National Political Committee), responded on Wednesday night to the involvement of several congressmen, including Iván Cepeda, Piedad Córdoba, and Alex Flórez, with the company Sociedad Aérea de Ibagué S.A.S. (Sadi), whose administrator (pilot Carlos Eduardo Restrepo Osorio) admitted to drug trafficking charges in the United States

On Wednesday, the top leadership of the Petro movement met in Bogotá after it was revealed that their campaign expenses report for the Senate, specifically the top 20 on the closed list, included payments of nearly $61 million to the company. This list includes former congressmen of the caliber of Gustavo Bolívar and Roy Barreras.

Pacto Histórico’s Defense: Addressing Accusations and Contradictions

Although initially several of them, such as María José Pizarro and Iván Cepeda, denied any connection to Sadi, they had to seek explanations from the then campaign manager of the “Pacto” in Congress, who is now the Minister of Health, Guillermo Jaramillo, who was also denounced by the Centro Democrático party.

An Aviation Entrepreneur’s Troubles Abroad

According to the “Pacto,” following training conducted by the National Political Financing Fund affiliated with the National Electoral Council (CNE), they adopted the recommendation that campaigns organized by closed list should use the proration of income and expenses. In other words, to distribute expenses proportionally among several.

In this regard, they denied that the campaign manager had contracted the services with a private pilot but rather had contracted the air services of a “legally constituted aviation company” in the country.

The Political Committee stated that the electronic invoice presented by the Sadi air transport company “complied with legal requirements” and was duly reported in the Senate campaign’s income and expense report, “approved by the CNE.”

On October 17th, Carlos Eduardo Restrepo Osorio, known as “Caco,” a prominent Colombian aviation entrepreneur who admitted drug trafficking charges and surrendered to U.S. authorities last June, will appear before a court in the Middle District of Tampa, Florida.

The Ongoing Investigation into Providencia Cocaine Seizure

The anticipation of what Caco will say is high in Colombia because the company he is associated with, Sociedad Aérea de Ibagué (Sadi S.A.S.), is currently under scrutiny by the National Electoral Council (CNE). This is because it was the company that transported the now President Gustavo Petro during the 2022 campaign. Its accounts, movements, and payments are being closely examined by the electoral authority.

Apart from the investigations into Petro’s campaign accounts, U.S. authorities are trying to establish the connection of Caco, who is currently incarcerated in a Florida prison, with a cocaine shipment that was seized on a plane on Providencia Island in May 2021.


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