FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Colombian Presidential Candidate Gustavo Petro Sitting With Pablo Escobar?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram purportedly shows Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro sitting at a table with Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. 

Verdict: False

The photo is digitally altered. The original image features an unidentified man that does not bear any resemblance to Petro.

Fact Check:

Petro, a former left-wing guerilla fighter, is considered to be the front-runner in the country’s upcoming presidential election, according to Reuters. An image shared on Instagram claims he once had ties with Escobar, who was one of the world’s most notorious drug traffickers before his death in 1993.

The post appears to show a black and white photo in which a young Petro is seen sitting next to Escobar. “The one in the middle is Gustavo Petro, who will possibly govern Colombia soon,” reads a translated version of Spanish-language text included in the post. “Here he is spending time with Pablo Escobar; whoever continues to believe in communism does so because they have no mother.”

The photo is digitally edited. A reverse image search reveals the original, unedited photo can be found in a 2015 article from The Daily Mail. Notably, in this image, the man next to Escobar has a mustache and does not resemble Petro. The same image was shared by the Spanish language magazine Semana. (RELATED: No, This Photo Does Not Show Kamala Harris With Jeffrey Epstein.)

It appears that whoever created the altered image simply photoshopped an old, black and white photo of Petro’s head onto the body of the unidentified man next to Escobar. A further reverse image search shows no genuine pictures of the two men together, nor are there any credible news reports revealing or discussing the alleged ties between the two. 

Check Your Fact has reached out to Petro’s office for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter