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Ernesto Samper

Ernesto Samper Pizano is a Colombian politician. He served as the President of Colombia from August 7, 1994 to August 7, 1998, representing the Liberal Party. He was involved in the so called 8000 process scandal, which takes its name from the folio number assigned to it by the chief prosecutor's office, which claims that money from the Cali Cartel was funeled into his presidential campaign in order to guarantee his success in what would have been a very close race to the finish after failing to win by a majority during the first round . Samper studied in the Gimnasio Moderno school and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Additionally, he conducted graduate studies in Economics at Columbia University while living in New York City.

In 1993, when the campaign for the presidency was in its early stages, it became increasingly clear that the race was going to be a close call, particularly between Samper and Andres Pastrana, the candidate of the Colombian Conservative Party: opinion polls were sharply divided. Elections for president took place on May 29, 1994. Ernesto Samper was elected president by a very narrow margin.

Fernando Botero, who had been one of the campaign managers for Samper, was named Minister of Defense. Horacio Serpa, another of Samper's political allies during campaigning, was named Minister of Interior. When news of the investigation were leaked to the press, both of these figures were personally appointed by Samper to face the media and aggressively deny the possibility that drug money entered the finances of the presidential campaign. The message was clear: if money from the Cali drug cartel found its way into the campaign's finances, Samper had no notion of this. During a press conference in which both men referred to and disqualified key elements of the investigation, one of the journalists present asked them how they had obtained this document, since it was a confidential document that only the prosecutor had the authority to release once the evidence was collected. Hesitant and nervous, Serpa alleged that it was given to them by an "anonymous source".

Related websites

Colombia:1994 Elecciones Presidenciales, Primera Vuelta, Resultados Nacionales

Articulo Archivado YO ACUSO

Canal RCN - Noticias RCN

Articulo Archivado FRASES DEL AAO

Fernando Botero's 2007 Spanish language tv and radio interview with new details on Ernesto Samper's involvement on receiving money from the Cali Cartel - El Tiempo

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