• Controversial
  • Innovative
  • Eye Opening


Rigging an election in the digital age requires more sophisticated tactics than just the simple buying of votes. There are emails to steal, campaign security systems to hack and insidious malware to create. Bloomberg Businessweek journalists Jordan Robertson, Michael Riley and Andrew Willis explain how elections can be bought for a price, with or without a candidate’s knowledge. They tell the story of Andrés Sepúlveda, currently serving a prison sentence in Colombia for a host of crimes related to fixing an election via the Internet. getAbstract recommends this troubling, but vital, article to anyone interested in how leaders come to power in the 21st century.


Andrés Sepúlveda’s work on Colombia’s 2014 presidential election landed him a 10-year prison sentence. The charges include use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data and espionage. Eight years of election tinkering took him to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras. His handiwork also influenced campaigns in El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala and Venezuela. Sepúlveda was motivated predominantly by his right-leaning political beliefs.

While Sepúlveda’s doesn’t dispute his sentencing, he claims that political consultant...

About the Authors

Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley are cybersecurity reporters for Bloomberg Businessweek. Andrew Willis covers commodities and Colombia for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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