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Colombia’s Electoral Council Requests Help from Prosecutors to Investigate Alleged Odebrecht Bribes

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Feb 9, 2017, 12:12 pm
CNE judge Armando Novoa has called for collaboration from the Attorney General to investigate campaign contributions made by Odebrecht (
CNE judge Armando Novoa has called for collaboration from the Attorney General to investigate campaign contributions made by Odebrecht (YouTube).

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Armando Novoa, a judge for the Colombian National Electoral Council (CNE), said that the support of the Attorney General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry will be necessary to carry out the investigations into the campaigns of both President Juan Manuel Santos and his opponent Oscar Ivan Zuluaga for the alleged money received from corrupt Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Novoa said that with the current information sent by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, it will be difficult to carry out the investigation unless there is direct collbaboration from this organization so that it can better understand the statements of ex-senator Otto Bula, who accuses Juan Manuel Santos‘ campaign of having received almost one million dollars during the 2014 Colombian presidential elections from the Brazilian multinational.

Assistance from other agencies could be of great help to the investigation, since five of the nine judges in the CNE are close to Juan Manuel Santos, which could lead to claims that their decisions are biased, and based more on political ideology and their proximity to the parties that make up the national unity that currently supports the Colombian president.

“If we do not act swiftly and transparently in order to achieve the protection of the public interest, surely the National Electoral Council will have to be reformed immediately because it be an injustice if the investigation could not be carried out because we do not have the sufficient resources to advance it,” said the magistrate in statements published by RCN Radio.

Finally, he announced that the sessions of the National Electoral Council will be televised with a view to promoting transparency, and he referred to the prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martínez who said that up until now the investigations into Odebrecht reach a certain point, but they have the potential to further develop as new information comes to light.

Source: RCN Radio

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.