The father, Gustavo Petro, is president, the first clearly leftist that Colombia has had in its recent history. He took office a year ago today with a promise of profound change that has become an obstacle course due to the resistance of the traditional political class, parliamentary balances, strategic errors and internal power struggles. The son, Nicolás Petro Burgos, is the only one among the six brothers who has accompanied his father to the front line. He was a key figure in his movement in Barranquilla and on the Caribbean coast, a regional deputy and worked in his campaigns.
Thus, the parent-child relationship, the most inviolable aspect of the family sphere, becomes a public matter. That link and its derivatives are now a crucial issue for the stability of the Government, which occupies a very wide range of conversations on Twitter —or X— that goes from the most solemn analyzes to gossip. Everything, on account of the financing of the 2022 electoral campaign.
My son Nicolás and his ex-wife Days have been captured by the prosecution
As a person and a father, so much self-destruction hurts me a lot and the fact that one of my sons goes to jail; As President of the Republic, he assured that the prosecution has all the guarantees from me to…
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) July 29, 2023
Nicolás was arrested the last weekend of July together with his ex-wife Daysuris Vásquez for money laundering and illicit enrichment. His father’s reaction was distant and typical of a statesman. He promised not to intervene or put pressure on the attorney general, a political adversary proposed by his predecessor, Iván Duque, and with whom he had engaged in numerous disputes. And he let go the hand of his firstborn. He wished her “luck and strength.” “May these events forge his character and reflect on his own mistakes,” he wrote in a tweet.
Confidently, firmly. Safely. I have never led my children to crime. I would never favor the crime of any of them. My political life is based on social justice and peace in Colombia pic.twitter.com/lsncaMVM3J
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) August 4, 2023
The days passed and the hour of the appearance arrived. The defendant reached an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office and acknowledged that the financing of the presidential campaign received contributions from a former drug trafficker and from two questioned businessmen, one of them the son of a contractor tried for financing paramilitaries. The scandal actually broke out in March. The ex-wife found out that Nicolás had been unfaithful with her best friend and accused him of receiving those undeclared resources. Already then the affirmation of her father was lapidary: “I did not raise him.” But, despite marking these distances, the judicialization of the case now gives the whole matter a dimension of consequences that are still uncertain. The son was released last Friday night after his agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office. On Saturday, Semana magazine, a conservative outlet with an editorial line radically opposed to his father, published an interview with him. In the conversation, he affirms that the president was not aware of the opaque income to his campaign.
First thing in the morning, Petro —the president— opened up in another tweet. “What happened to my son is terrible and very unfortunate for me. Hopefully one day I can talk to him and forgive us,” he wrote before reiterating that his candidacy “did not receive any money of an illegal nature” and expressing his desire that “a grandson be born to his new partner who can meet his father in freedom.” . Petro Sr., who in his youth was a member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, and Petro Jr. looked into each other’s eyes for the first time in prison.
What happened to my son is terrible and very unfortunate for me.
Hopefully one day I can talk to him and forgive us.
As I said before, as president I will not put pressure on justice in your case, the judicial officials who intervene in your process will be respected by me.
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) August 5, 2023
But the tragic development of this plot is being attended by other spectators who could also step on the stage. For example, the person in charge of the presidential campaign and former ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, who was summoned as a witness and who did not appear, hiding behind his right to remain silent.
Adelina, my wife, is not the one referred to at the hearing. She has never organized meetings in this government or any other.
— Armando Benedetti (@AABenedetti) August 4, 2023
Meanwhile, as the journalist María Jimena Duzán recalls, it is convenient not to lose sight of the most important thing of all: the political angle. That is, Nicolás Petro decided to collaborate with a “biased Prosecutor’s Office, which has dedicated itself to seeing how it ends Petro’s political project.” “Hunger combined with the desire to eat,” he continues. In her opinion, the “great stone guest” in this work is the truth.
Nicolas Petro gave all the inputs that were needed to a biased prosecution, which has dedicated itself to seeing how it ends Petro’s political project. They joined the hunger, with the desire to eat. Truth is the great stone guest.
— Maria Jimena Duzan (@MJDuzan) August 4, 2023
#Colombia #change #drama