Colombian Election Disinformation Campaign: The Role of Venezuelan Leftists
An Investigative Report – March 2022
Nisos researchers have completed an investigative report on election influence related to the upcoming Colombian Presidential election. Before discussing the details of this investigation, it is important to note the weight the upcoming election carries in the region and what it means for U.S. foreign policy. For decades, Colombia has been one of the United States’ closest allies in Latin America, militarily and diplomatically. Most notably, both countries’ counter-narcotics efforts have brought down several groups responsible for cocaine exports to the United States and Europe. Diplomatically, the United States has enjoyed Colombia’s support of policies towards what U.S. Southern Command defines as “malign state actors,” which include Cuba and Venezuela, both of which are allies of Russia and Iran in the region.
Nisos researchers uncovered a prolific disinformation campaign in which Venezuelan leftist organizations are driving social media narratives in support of current leftist, Colombian Presidential Candidate and former M-19 revolutionary member, Gustavo Petro. The influential Twitter account, @ChalecosAmarill, is advocating for presidential candidates with foreign policy positions favorable to U.S. adversaries, including Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba. The activity includes engagement with bot/sock puppet social media networks involved in information operations with the aim of influencing the digital environment, especially in Colombia.
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