Weekly Report - 08 June 2023 (WR-23-23)

COLOMBIA: Fast-moving scandal threatens Petro’s reform agenda

Colombia’s government is engulfed in an escalating crisis caused by leaked audio messages in which the recently fired ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, alluded to possible illegal financing in President Gustavo Petro’s election campaign last year. With Benedetti threatening to release information which he said could “bring us all down”, Petro is not for the first time facing questions over whether he received off-the-books donations from disreputable sources. The government’s legislative agenda has been put on pause as its allies focus their attention on firefighting. If Petro is severely weakened by this crisis, as seems highly possible, then the already daunting obstacles facing his reform bills could become insurmountable.

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