After her divorce from the Hope Center Coalition, presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt appeared in the group of pointers, in the most recent electoral survey, of the National Consulting Center.
Under the umbrella of his party, Oxygen Green, marks third, and arrives with 7 percent of intention of vote, at the beginning of his national tour as an independent, which starts in Barranquilla.
In an interview with EL TIEMPO, Betancourt not only spoke about how he interprets this rise in favorability ratings, but also about the darts that the senator threw at him Germán Varon Cotrino (Radical Change), who joined Alejandro Gaviria’s candidacy.
Varon’s entry triggered a division within the Centro Esperanza Coalition that ended with his resignation after of launching several ultimatums about the presence of machinery and “support of wolves where there are sheep”.
The candidate began by warning that, although she does not usually look at the results of opinion polls, thanks to the comments that what people do in the streets and in the meetings of ‘A beer with Íngrid’, he has been able to realize that “people have clearly understood why I separated from the coalition and support my fight against the machinery and the corruption.”
(You may be interested in: The big surprise! Ingrid Betancourt is t third in the last survey).
She also talked about the episodes that, according to Varón Cotrino, she has to go out and explain to the country.
In an interview with EL TIEMPO, Varón accused her of nepotism and asked her to explain the the presence of someone under investigation for drug trafficking on their lists and an old visit to the capos of the Cali cartel.
“These attacks by people like him, linked to the machinery, further convince me that I am doing the right thing. If you want to have an easy way to know who is corrupt and who is not, all you have to do is check if this person is being attacked by the machinery or if, on the contrary, they are supported,” said Betancourt.
And he explained why he included his niece, Anastasia Rubio, on the list of the Centro Esperanza Coalition for the Bogota Chamber, which Varon qualifies as nepotism.
“She is representing the Oxygen Green Party (PVO) because I know her, I know that she shares the same ideals of the PVO and is totally away from any machinery . She is an incorruptible woman and I am proud that she represents us,” said the candidate.
She does, however, emphasize that for Anastasia’s candidacy she received “nothing” and that her niece “will have to earn the trust of Bogotanos to be elected. That is her personal challenge.”
Regarding her old visit to capos Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, Betancourt replied to Varón: “I invite Mr. Germán to buy my recent book where I wrote extensively about this. I would be happy to send you an autographed courtesy copy so that you are not suspected of receiving money from the machinery.”
In his book ‘La Rage en el Corazón’, Betancourt recounts that the meeting, which took place in Cali, was gave in the midst of her attempts to overthrow Ernesto Samper from the government.
According to what she recounts, she and Carlos Alonso Lucio were in an auditorium in the Valle government when an emissary came to tell them that the leaders of the Cartel from Cali wanted to give them some information.
Ingrid accepted and, according to her account, at the meeting she asked the Rodríguez ‘how much did you give Samper?’ At that moment, they gave her the information she needed for her debates against the former president, who had been accused of receiving hot money for his campaign and having links with the Cali cartel.
And she says that today her flag they are similar: to fight against corruption and the machinery.
“30 years ago, when I started doing politics, I was already denouncing the machinery in the traditional parties and the corruption that it entails,” he tells this newspaper.
(Also: ‘It was an unfortunate incident that hurt us’: Juan Fernando Cristo).
Finally, he assures that he has nothing against the political convergence of the center and that, on the contrary, wishes them the best in the remainder of the electoral campaign.
“I hope that they, who have their principles, and who have also fought against corruption, they can be consistent with themselves and make good decisions”, he concludes.
(Keep reading: Survey: Petro would beat all its competitors in the second round).