ColombiaOne.comColombia newsPresident Petro's Son Allegedly Linked to a Criminal Clan

President Petro’s Son Allegedly Linked to a Criminal Clan


Nicolas Petro Vega Daza
Newspaper report links President Petro’s son to Vega Daza criminal clan – Credit: @nicolaspetroB / X

A news report by Colombia’s Noticias Caracol television program yesterday linked President Petro’s son, Nicolas Petro, to the Vega Daza criminal clan. According to the document, broadcast last night, March 3, the Colombian president’s eldest son, who is under investigation for allegedly collecting illicit money to finance his father’s 2022 presidential campaign, is now accused of having attempted to legalize this illicit money through a security company with apparent criminal ties.

According to a witness with protected identity, it is the company Lost Prevention which the Attorney General’s Office suspects that Nicolas Petro used to try to “launder the money” that he allegedly received from Samuel Santander Lopesierra, alias “Marlboro Man”, and the son of Alfonso del Cristo, alias “Turco Hilsaca”.

In addition, the newspaper report links the company through which the illicit money was filtered to the Vega Daza criminal clan, which was very active on the Atlantic coast and which was dismantled after the death of its last member a few days ago in Spain.

Laundering illicit campaign cash

In some harsh and controversial statements, the protected witness claimed that a company was being used, through false documents, to launder illicit money that entered Gustavo Petro’s presidential campaign. In addition, the source added that, in exchange for the money, the suppliers were promised that the contracting processes of public works with the State would be facilitated.

“The relationship that exists between the company, that lady and the president’s son with the investigation is that through that company they are creating false documents, letters and records and everything that can be done so that he can justify the income and the origin of the money that the ex-wife said she received. I know that they are signing promissory notes and that this money would be registered in the company as loans and campaign contributions”, stated this protected source of the investigation.

Noticias Caracol also alleged a link between the company Lost Prevention and the Vega Daza clan, accused of leading a mafia war in the last two years in Barranquilla, which came to an end last week with the murder of the last of its members, Rodrigo Vega Daza, who was killed in Spain in a multiple crime.

The Attorney General’s Office has indications that the company was a supplier of military material to the Conquistador Self-Defense Forces of the Sierra, a paramilitary group born out of the extinct United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and which is engaged in a fierce military confrontation with another paramilitary group, the Gulf Clan, in the department of La Guajira, over the control of drug trafficking.

The Vega Daza clan

The history of the Vega Daza clan is marked by crime, as it has its origins in Colombia’s “marimba bonanza,” survived smuggling and even worked for the Medellin and Cali cartels, links that cost the lives of eleven of its members over the last two decades. The “marimba bonanza” was a period between 1974 and 1985 characterized by a significant inflow of capital, in dollars, to the Caribbean coast of the country, thanks essentially to illicit drug trafficking activities.

On June 29, 2023, a commando of armed men with assault rifles, grenades and all kinds of military weaponry broke into an exclusive residential complex in Barranquilla, where they shot Rafael Vega Cuello and his sons Ray Jesus and Ronald Ivan Vega Daza. Roberto Vega Daza, considered the most dangerous member of the family, was also wounded in the attack, but managed to survive and fled the country.

Roberto Vega Daza, a survivor of that attack and two others before it, was killed last week in Spain. His death put an end to the family clan.

Complaints from Nicolas Petro

For his part, Nicolas Petro has denied the information published yesterday by Noticias Caracol. The president’s son insists that they are false and accuses the channel of putting his life at risk by broadcasting them.

“Very dangerous what Noticias Caracol has done, it has exposed my life and that of my family to danger, all because of a false informant of the prosecutor’s office (…) They did not even deign to verify the information of the false informant. The Prosecutor’s Office does not have a single document that links me to that security company, so much so that the Prosecutor’s Office made interrogations and tapped phone lines of people linked to that security company and found absolutely nothing that links me to it”, wrote Nicolas Petro last night in his social networks.

Nicolas Petro also recalled that it was because of a “false informant of Prosecutor Mario Burgos that I was illegally captured”, in July last year, accusing the TV channel of deploying “those lies”.

“We don’t know Nicolas Petro”

For its part, the security company mentioned in the report, Lost Prevention, has said that it does not know Nicolas Petro. The company thus dissociates itself from the serious accusations that the Noticias Caracol report made yesterday where they are accused of facilitating the laundering of illicit money that Nicolas Petro received.

“No sir, I do not know Mr. Petro (son), I have no idea, no one has come to the management of the company, nor has approached me as legal representative or personally, to tell me to collaborate with a person I do not know, who has neither feet nor head,” said before the Prosecutor, Lilian Dolores Lopez, manager of Lost Prevention.

Based in Barranquilla, Riohacha, Santa Marta and Uraba, this company, which has been providing services in the region for 15 years, is said to be the front for criminal gangs and armed groups in the Caribbean. For years the company has received complaints of irregularities and of being linked to regional criminal groups, but the complaints have always ended up being shelved for lack of evidence.

According to yesterday’s newspaper report, over the years, the company has obtained millionaire contracts with the Governor’s Office of La Guajira and the Mayor’s Office of Maicao, totaling more than 8 billion pesos to date. The company is owned and represented by Angel Carrillo, his mother Lilian Lopez and his cousin Martha Lucia Lopez.

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