Meet the hacker who rigged elections in 9 Latin American countries for 8 continuous years without anyone noticing
Over 8 continuous years, the citizens of Latin American countries have been fooled by a hacker who rigged elections to make the right wing candidates win the elections. The Columbian hacker, Andres Sepulveda hacked the voting machines in Colombia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, México, Panamá, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Honduras in return for hefty paychecks.
Sepulveda rigged Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s election which saw Neito winning the election by a huge margin and becoming the president of Mexico. A Bloomberg Business article published Thursday told his story for the first time, forcing the Mexican government to deny on Friday that Peña Nieto’s campaign spied on rivals. Sepulveda, now in jail in Colombia, was in the business of the “whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see,” he told Bloomberg Business.
Sepulveda started his hacking career with odd hacking targets in 2005, but quickly ramped up to helping presidential campaigns in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela smear, hack, and spy on their left-wing rivals for a bill of at least US$12,000 per month, and often more.
His first hacking was for the re-election campaign of former right-wing Colombian President Alfaro Uribe in the lead-up to the 2006 election, which Uribe won. Sepulveda hacked a rival’s website and campaign database.
In 2009, Sepulveda played a vital role in Honduras’ National Party President Porfirio Lobo’s campaign. In 2011, he started malicious campaigns against the socialist President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and in 2012 he worked for the ex-president of Venezuela president Hugo Chavez.
In 2012, he also spied, hacked and manipulated the social media platforms to help Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto win the presidential election. According to the Bloomberg report, he received US$600,000 as payment for this hacking.
Sepulveda has been sentenced to 10 years life imprisonment for his election hacking jobs. The list of his crimes includes espionage and conspiring to hack Colombian general elections in 2014.