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Who is Nicolás Petro, the son accused of corruption that puts the president of Colombia in trouble

Nicholas Petro Burgoseldest son of the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, relied on his father’s surname to enter politics but an investigation against him for money laundering and illicit enrichment made him the first son of a Colombian president to go to jail.

Petro Burgos, 37 years old and deputy of the Assembly of the Department of the Atlantic, was arrested this Saturday by the Prosecutor’s Office, who also arrested his ex-wife Daysuris Vásquez, who at the beginning of the year accused him of receive a large sum of money from a drug dealer for the campaign of today’s president and to keep that amount.

Nicolás Petro was born in 1986 in Ciénaga de Oro -a town in the Caribbean department of Córdoba where the current president is also from- from his union with Katia Burgos, a young woman with whom the now president shared militancy in the guerrilla group Movimiento 19 de Abril (M-19).

Due to this circumstance, Petro Burgos in his childhood was away from his father and he was raised by the maternal family, a fact that the president used last March to distance himself from his eldest son when the complaint against him arose.

“He grew up in Córdoba, he studied there and did his university there, right; we never really had the opportunity to live together, I didn’t raise him, that’s the reality,” President Petro said in an interview with the magazine Change.

Nicolas Petro, son of the president of Colombia, and his ex-wife Daysuris Vasquez.

In his book “One life, many lives” (Planet), Petro, father of six children from three unions, tells that he met Nicolás when he was still a baby and he was a prisoner in La Picota prison in Bogotá.

“It was very strange to meet my first son in jail, knowing that I would not see him again for a long time,” says Petro, adding that he spent a year with him and Katia Burgos “in Bucaramanga, in hiding,” but for security reasons separated from them.

political concerns

According to Petro, in the 1990s, when the M-19 demobilized and he already had a political career, Nicolás, as a boy, “began to get closer to me” and noticed “political concerns, from the point of view election, which none of my children have had.

After the 2018 presidential elections, in which Gustavo Petro was defeated by Iván Duque, Nicolás Petro decided to contest the governorship of Atlántico, taking advantage of his father’s political strength in Barranquilla, the capital of that department, where he obtained the highest number of votes.

Thus, in the regional elections of 2019 he presented himself as a candidate of a coalition headed by Colombia Humana, the movement founded by the current Colombian president, But lost for more than 500,000 votes with Elsa Noguera, close to the Char family that for years has been in charge of politics in Barranquilla and the Atlantic.

However, for having come in second place, the Opposition Statute guaranteed him a seat in the Atlantic Assembly, for the period 2020-2023.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro and his son, Nicolas, at an event in 2014. Photo: AFP

Colombian President Gustavo Petro and his son, Nicolas, at an event in 2014. Photo: AFP

marital troubles

With his entry into politics, Petro Burgos became a well-known figure in Barranquilla where in 2020 he began a relationship with Day Vásquez who on August 7, 2022, the day Gustavo Petro was inaugurated, appeared in the photograph of the presidential family as the wife of the president’s eldest son.

The relationship ended at the end of last year and, in March of this year, Vásquez said in an interview with the magazine Week that drug trafficker Samuel Santander Lopesierra, alias “the Marlboro man,” gave Nicolás Petro “more than 600 million pesos (about $153,000 today) for his father’s campaign.”

“That never legally reached the (presidential) campaign because he (Nicolas) kept that money, and so did others,” added the ex-wife, according to whom the president’s son also received 200 million pesos (about $51,000) of the controversial businessman Alfonso “El Turco” Hilsaca, who did not go to the campaign either.

Based on these statements, the Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation that this Saturday surprised the country with the capture of the president’s eldest son and his former daughter-in-law.

Upon hearing the news, Petro said in a message on Twitter that he will not intervene or pressure the Prosecutor’s Office for his son and, as if he had doubts about his innocence, he stated that “so much self-destruction” hurts him and that hopefully Nicolás “can reflect on his own mistakes”.

Source: EFE


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