Colombian pilot Carlos Eduardo Restrepo Osorio recently surrendered to American authorities. In just under a month, on Oct. 17, he must appear in a court in the Tampa, Fla., district. There, he will likely offer details that fall like an anvil on the government of Colombian President Gustavo Petro.
According to outlets such as El Tiempo, El Colombiano and El Expediente, the company for which Restrepo is part-owner, the Sociedad Área de Ibagué (SADI), has frequently provided private planes for Gustavo Petro, even during his campaign, and to many of his allies.
Restrepo Osorio, according to El Expediente, is the co-owner of the planes and helicopters used by the candidates of the Colombia Humana political party and the Historic Pact coalition in 2021 and 2022.
However, Petro's allies continued to use the services after becoming president. This year, for example, former Colombian Ambassador to Venezuela Armando Benedetti used SADI's services on the eve of the nanny scandal.
The newspaper El Tiempo and journalist Daniel Coronell revealed that Benedetti used a private SADI plane to get his children's nanny, at that time involved in a controversy, to travel from Bogotá, Colombia, to Caracas, Venezuela.
Likewise, El Colombiano reported that, "According to sources and documents, the company linked to Restrepo also provided transport to current Senators Iván Cepeda, María José Pizarro, Piedad Córdoba, Alexander López and Pedro Flórez, as well as former Congressmen Roy Barreras and Gustavo Bolívar." All of the aforementioned names were part of Gustavo Petro's inner circle.
"Photographs of ads released by the same company show that Atlántico Governor Elsa Noguera, as well as First Lady Verónica Alcócer and Nicolás Petro, eldest son of the head of state, were among its clients," reports El Colombiano.
Restrepo Osorio turned himself in to American authorities on drug trafficking charges after he was investigated for his alleged involvement in transporting a cocaine shipment seized in May 2021 at an airport in Providencia, a Colombian island in the Caribbean.
Petro campaign financed investigation
According to El Tiempo, Colombia's National Electoral Council decided to open an investigation into the relationship between SADI and the members of the Historic Pact.
The National Electoral Council will investigate illegal financing by Petro's campaign since, during the audit of the first round of presidential elections in Colombia, it discovered an invoice of more than $500,000 made out to SADI.
In addition to this scandal, Petro's campaign is also being investigated by the Colombian Prosecutor's Office after the president's son and former daughter-in-law revealed to authorities that they had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug traffickers to finance voter acquisition.
So far, the National Electoral Council has not contacted Restrepo Osorio or the company about the investigation.
On the other hand, the CNE did require the Petro campaign "to deliver electronic billing information in which the company Sociedad Aérea de Ibagué [SADI] appears as the acquirer and as issuer."
Colombian state-run oil company Ecopetrol President Ricardo Roa, who was the president's campaign manager, said that "the accounts are transparent and comply with all legal regulations."