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Colombian president's campaign chief quits amid allegations he took $12 million from drug lord

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Monday, May 5, 2014 10:09 PM EDT
BOGOTA, Colombia

The head of President Juan Manuel Santos' re-election campaign is resigning amid allegations he received $12 million from drug traffickers in exchange for helping negotiate their surrender.

The allegations against J.J. Rendon were published over the weekend by the Colombian newspaper El Espectador. Its report cited testimony from a U.S. jail by convicted drug lord Javier Antonio Calle.

Rendon acknowledges that he was approached by lawyers for Calle and other drug bosses, but he denies taking any money for communicating to the president in 2011 their offer to disarm in exchange for concessions such as protection from extradition to the U.S.

Police and prosecutors say they rejected the initiative and Calle ended up turning himself in to the U.S. a year later.


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