Colombian president's son says innocent of money laundering | Inquirer News

Colombian president’s son says innocent of money laundering

/ 08:47 AM August 02, 2023

FILE PHOTO: Nicolas Petro, son of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks at the Atlantic Assembly in Barranquilla

FILE PHOTO: Nicolas Petro, son of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks at the Atlantic Assembly in Barranquilla, Colombia on March 14, 2023, in this screengrab taken from a handout video. Asamblea del Atlantico / Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Bogotá, Colombia — Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s eldest son on Tuesday said he was not guilty of money laundering, in a scandal linked to his father’s election campaign.

Nicolas Petro, 37, was arrested on Saturday and is accused of receiving money from a convicted drug trafficker.


“I do not accept the charges,” he said after prosecutor Mario Burgos accused him of receiving some 400 million pesos ($102,000) from Samuel Santander Lopesierra, who spent 18 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking.


Burgos said the younger Petro received the same amount of money from Alfonso “The Turk” Hilsaca, a businessman accused of financing paramilitary groups and planning murders.

Burgos said he also received other “large sums of money” from businessmen in Bogota, without detailing how much and from whom.

Burgos said that some $408,000 was used to buy a mansion in northern Barranquilla, whereas Petro only declared his income of $64,000 as a lawmaker.

“Where does that money come from?” asked the prosecutor, who said the accused was facing 12 years in prison if found guilty of money laundering and illegal enrichment.

Nicolas Petro’s ex-wife Daysuris Vasquez accused him earlier this year of using the money donated to his father’s campaign to live a life of luxury — after she discovered he had been unfaithful.

Vasquez has been charged with money laundering and violation of personal data for using illegal interception methods to discover her husband’s infidelity.


After the arrest, President Gustavo Petro wrote on Twitter, now known as X, that he would stay out of the legal proceedings involving his son.

“I wish my son luck and strength. May these events build his character and may he reflect on his mistakes.”

Since the scandal broke, President Petro has denied receiving money from the country’s powerful cocaine lords. He himself asked that his son be investigated.

Nicolas Petro was born in the 1980s while his father was in the Marxist M-19 urban guerilla insurgency, one of several armed groups fighting the lock on power by traditional political parties.

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The father recently said he was absent from his son’s life due to the civil war, unlike with his five younger children raised after a peace accord with the M-19 movement was signed in 1990.


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TAGS: Colombia, Drug trafficking, world news

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