Citizens Revolution Assembly candidate implicated in Colombian money laundering scandal
According to Colombian news media, a candidate for Ecuador’s National Assembly may be a key player in the scandal involving President Gustavo Petro’s son, Nicolás Petro. According to the magazine Semana, Raisa Vulgarín, a Citizens Revolution candidate to be a National Assembly alternate member, assisted in laundering illegal drug money intended for Gustavo Petro’s 2022 victorious presidential campaign that was instead used by Nicolás Petro to buy real estate.
According to Semana, Vulgarín is the girlfriend of Camilo Burgos, cousin and business associate of Nicolás Petro, and was recorded offering to assist in transferring the illegal funds. The article suggests that other Ecuadorian political figures may also be implicated in the scandal, including Vinicio Alvarado, who served as a minister in the government of former president Rafael Correa and was considered the “architect” of Gustavo Petro’s victory in Colombia.
He is currently an advisor to the Ecuadorian campaign of Citizens Revolution presidential candidate Luisa Gonzalez.
“There are deep ties with the political movement of former Ecuador president Rafeal Correa, Alvarado and Nicolás Petro,” Semana reported. “We expect more details to emerge as the investigation continues. This story has all the elements of a transnational soap opera.”
The scandal broke two weeks ago after Nicolás Petro’s wife, Daysuris Vásquez, disclosed details of the money laundering operation. According to prosecutors, Vásquez went public with the information and was arrested along with her husband after Nicolás began an affair with another woman.
According to prosecutors, Nicolás Petro’s bank accounts show deposits of more than $350,000 within the past year while his salary was only $50,000. “The man lived far beyond his means and his tax records are irregular and indicate signs of manipulation,” one prosecutor said.
Ecuador presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, who had alleged Correista connections with Colombian drug money early in the campaign, called on the Ecuadorian Attorney General’s office to open an investigation of Vulgarín. “I have brought up this matter repeatedly and now that I have been proven correct, I expect to see immediate action.”