The Colombian government manipulated a video to manipulate the applause that President Gustavo Petro received during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The Associated Press reviewed the video and was able to confirm that it had been altered. The recording released by the presidential office included applause for US President Joe Biden, who spoke shortly before Petro, making it appear that the applause was for the Colombian leader.
The manipulation was first reported by the Colombian website La Silla Vacía.
The presidential office was contacted by AP for comment but had not responded as of late Friday afternoon.
Although Petro received applause, the final clip of the video posted on the government's YouTube channel on Thursday does not match what was broadcast in the UN video. It contains a different shot than the original broadcast and the media broadcast, giving the impression that many more participants applauded Petro at the end of his speech.
The recording sparked doubts among social media users and media outlets as several seats in the General Assembly were vacant during Petro's speech.
At 1:52:39 of the official UN broadcast, the same applause that the Colombian government video shows him walking toward Petro can be heard, albeit at the end of Biden's speech.
The UN video also shows three men in the seventh row standing up at the same time and a woman walking towards the podium between the seats, the same scene seen in the video released by the Colombian presidential office.
AP photographer Richard Drew captured the moment of Petro's speech in a photo, showing that only three of the 12 seats in the seventh row had people sitting. In the edited video released by the Colombian government, all seats appear to be occupied.
This year's annual session of the UN General Assembly brought together leaders from at least 145 countries, including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky