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Hacker Says He Was Paid to Rig Mexican President Peña Nieto’s Election

HeadlineApr 01, 2016

An imprisoned Colombian hacker has told Bloomberg Businessweek that he was paid to rig elections throughout Latin America on behalf of right-wing candidates—including the controversial 2012 election of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Andrés Sepúlveda says he was paid to $600,000 to deploy an array of online techniques to bolster Peña Nieto’s campaign and to sabotage his opponents, including tapping the phones and computers of other candidates and managing tens of thousands of fake social media profiles and Twitter bots to drum up support for Peña Nieto. Speaking to Bloomberg, Sepúlveda said, “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors—the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see.” Peña Nieto’s office has rejected the claims. Sepúlveda said he was also paid to rig the re-election of Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and the election of right-wing Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, who was elected in 2009 following the U.S.-backed coup. Sepúlveda is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for hacking crimes related to Colombia’s 2014 presidential election.

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