Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum has tendered her “irrevocable” resignation at a time when the government is being criticized and condemned for the crackdown on protests that have pressured President Iván Duque for two weeks. In a letter dated May 11, but published by his office only on Thursday (13), Blum resigned from the office without specifying the reasons.
“I am sure that […] the country will continue on the path of sustainable development, of social and economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic and of the consolidation of a consensus which ratifies unity and strengthens our nation, ”the now ex-minister wrote.
Thus, Blum is leaving the post he had held since November 2019, amid criticisms that damage the country’s external image. The UN, the United States, the European Union and human rights NGOs have denounced the serious abuses committed by the police in the demonstrations and the unrest that have left at least 42 dead and more than 1,500 injured, according to official data and the country’s public defender’s office.
According to Colombian press, the minister was planning to travel to Europe to share the government’s version of the crisis sparked by protests that initially opposed a tax reform proposal amid the severe economic deterioration caused by the pandemic.
With the Chancellor’s decision, Duke loses the Second Minister. The first was the chief financial officer, Alberto Carrasquilla, who resigned over criticism of the proposal to raise taxes on the middle class.
Although Duke withdrew the bill, the violent crackdown on protests continued to fuel discontent. Since then, acts have multiplied, without a defined agenda or direction, but with demands that demand a more just country and a more united state that guarantees life and security.
Colombia, with 50 million inhabitants, is also facing an upsurge in violence financed by drug trafficking, which nullifies the illusion of peace after the signing of the agreement with the FARC guerrillas in 2016.