Things That Matter

A Colombian Politician Was Busted At The Airport Trying To Smuggle 7 Kilos In His Prosthetic Leg

Colombian politician, Víctor Hugo Agudelo didn’t make it on his Frankfurt, Germany-bound flight October 7, after he was caught with $175,000 worth of cocaine stuffed in his prosthetic leg. Agudelo was stopped by Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport narcotics officers after they noticed he was having trouble walking. They offered their assistance and asked if something was wrong with his leg. From there, an argument broke out, which resulted in a working canine alerting the officers to the presence of drugs.

Agudelo was arrested, and released just hours later on a technicality that nobody quite understands. Many are outraged at the thought that his political privilege exempts him from legal consequences. Since then, Agudelo has continued his campaign, but party leaders aren’t having it.

One police officer recalled that the way Agudelo was dragging his leg roused suspicion.

Credit: @JACOBOSOLANOC / Twitter

The officers approached Agudelo to ask if he was okay to walk. When he got defensive, narcotics officers approached and launched a routine protocol. Later, it was discovered that, in addition to the 7 kilos of prosthetic weight, Agudelo was trying to walk with additional 7 kilos of cocaine stuffed inside the prosthetic. That means his leg weighed around 30 pounds, twice as heavy as usual, and likely pretty uncomfortable to walk around with. 

After the argument finally dispelled, officers assisted him to a body scanner.

Screenshot. Digital Video. City TV. 22 October 2019.

City TV video shows Agudelo being wheeled over to the body scanner. He steps up to the machine and places his hands behind his head. The body scan results were abnormal and prompted the next phase of testing. Officers then passed the prosthetic leg alone through an x-ray machine and were shocked to find the contraband. 

Officers tested his prosthetic for traces of cocaine, which came back positive.

Screenshot. Digital Video. City TV. 22 October 2019.

Agudelo was released just a few hours after his arrest, prompting outrage from other citizens. Public commentary is full of complaints that Agudelo is being treated with the privilege of being a politician. “Of course it is political, anyone would be given 50 years in jail” one Gustavo Cerati said in a comment on Actualidad.

Compounding the outrage is that his crime has been captured on video, but without the consequences that so many other offenders face.

Since his arrest, Agudelo has remained unapologetic.

Credit: Victor Agudelo / Facebook

Nearly two weeks after his arrest, he posted a meme depicting Jesus Christ with the phrase, “The only one who can judge me forgives me.” In the weeks since his arrest, his campaign has posted videos of supporters daily, each meant to represent women, the disabled, the working class, and so on. 

Two days after his arrest and release, he attended a campaign event with William Palomino and Clara Luz Roldán, mayoral and gubernatorial candidates. He’s attended at least one other campaign event since then and continues to aspire to earn a seat as a Council member. “I’m still here with my people, I’m still working, I’m part of the Radical Change group and I’m moving on confidently,” he shared on his social media account. 

The Radical Change group disagrees.

Credit: Victor Agudelo / Facebook

While party leaders can’t force an indictment or further charges brought against Agudelo, they are seeking to remove his party membership and are publicly denouncing his candidacy. In particular, Senator José Luis Pérez has been outspoken about the illegitimacy of Agudelo candidacy at this point. “I reject any action that is outside the law and more in the case of a crime as unfortunate as drug trafficking is,” Senator Pérez told Blu Radio. Pérez also told Actualidad that the police report confirmed that a canine trained in drug-sensitivity was able to find the drug in Agudelo’s prosthesis.

Agudelo was set to be a shoo-in for a council seat in La Unión, in the department of El Valle del Cauca. Today, the jury’s out.

Credit: @JavierBarreraA / Twitter

Cocaine trafficking is commonplace in Colombia, the cocaine production capital of the world. Overnight, narcotics officers arrested and detained two other cocaine traffickers who thought they could hide the narcotics inside their luggage. 

While Agudelo hasn’t faced any legal consequences for his alleged crime, the political consequences are swelling. His party has rejected him, and political cartoonists are glorifying the bizarre incident. Agudelo continues to protest his innocence with claims that only God can judge him.

READ: Colombian Navy Rescues Drug Traffickers Stranded In The Ocean, Floating On Top Of Packets Of Cocaine

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