Zuluaga’s campaign manager resigns over wiretapping scandal

Posted on May 7 2014 - 8:57pm by TNN
Oscar Ivan Zuluaga (L) and Luis Alfonso Hoyos (Photo: La Patria)

The campaign manager for Colombian presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga announced his resignation on Wednesday after national TV reported he had been trying to provide classified information obtained through illegal wiretapping carried out by at least one member of the campaign team.

Former ambassador Luis Alfonso Hoyos made the statement at a press conference in Bogota at which he confirmed to “have resigned from the campaign and go now to defend myself on the streets.”

In an attempt to explain the events which unfolded Hoyos conceeded that “It is a serious situation” but claimed that “Andres [Sepulveda] told me that there was someone who knew of threats to the Democratic Center in the south…so I decided to get in touch with a serious journalist to evaluate the information.”

Hoyos added that he did not know the source of the information but stated that “if there were any links to illegal activity, Sepulveda must go to prison.”

Following his resignation, Hoyos continued to support the Zuluaga campaign. On Twitter, the discredited former official called for “no more abuse from officials, no more arbitrariness, Let’s mobilize Colombia. OSCAR IVAN ZULUAGA President in the first round!!!”

The latest wiretapping discovery

Luis Alfonso Hoyos came under fire after being recorded at the RCN headquarters trying to pass on information with a contact referred to only as “Intelligence.”

The man in question was Andres Sepulveda who was arrested on Tuesday after agents from the Prosecutor General’s technical investigation team (CTI) raided an apartment in northern Bogota, where they discovered surveillance equipment used to intercept electronic communications.

The suspect was allegedly in possession of classified military intelligence including information about the government’s ongoing peace negotiations in Havana, and lists of demobilized guerrilla combatants.

Press conference given by Hoyos

Hoyos therefore announced in a press conference in Bogota that he would resign as campaign manager due to his recorded links with Sepulveda and to stop Zuluaga’s campaign from being tainted by the scandal.

MORE: Zuluaga’s campaign director caught on video with wiretap suspect, critics call for resignation

The press conference was announced via Zuluaga’s twitter feed stating that Hoyos would use the time to explain his link to Sepulveda. Hoyos took the opportunity to resign.

RCN’s side of the story

The meeting which sparked the controversy was with RCN communications director, Rodrigo Pardo.

According to Pardo, “Luis Alfonso Hoyos phoned me and told me he had relevant information about the campaign. I gave him an appointment and he was accompanied by a character, whose name I did not get, but, for security reasons, had the alias of “intelligence.” They said he was an intelligence expert for the government, the armed forces and various international organizations.”

Pardo stated that the content of the interview was “sensitive information about the FARC threatening those who would not vote for Santos and were forcing people to vote for his re-election.”

Video footage of Hoyos arriving for the meeting is what linked the ex-campaign manager to Sepulveda.

Apparent support

No official statement has been given but during the press conference Zuluaga chose to tweet a picture of one of his supporters with the somewhat ironic line “Yes, it is possible to to govern with honesty” written on a whiteboard.

The post Zuluaga’s campaign manager resigns over wiretapping scandal appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.