Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, faces the first major crisis of his Government due to total peace, his flagship program, punctuated by the shady relations of one of his brothers and his eldest son, and the resistance to his health reform project, even in his cabinet.
The president also had problems due to a protest at an oil company that left 2 dead and 84 detained, including police officers and workers, who have already been released, as well as his discussions on Twitter with the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, and with the Government of Peru.
And it is that the use of this social network, in which he publishes many tweets throughout the day, is, in the opinion of the analyst Manuel Alejandro Rayran, a problem for the president because he is wearing out his political capital there.
“Using Twitter and not institutional channels also wears politically on the president, wears on his popularity and by that I mean not only internal affairs, but the issue of El Salvador and the issue of Peru, for example”Rayran, a professor at the Externado de Colombia University, told EFE.
Problems of his son and his brother
The president published a statement on Thursday in which he referred to “information that is rumored in public opinion” about his brother Juan Fernando Petro Urrego and his eldest son, Nicolás Petro Burgos, and asked the nation’s attorney general, Francisco Barbosa, “to carry out all the necessary investigations and determine possible responsibilities”.
Petro made reference to alleged meetings in prisons where, according to some versions, people around him may be posing as members of the Government to contact criminals and offer to include them in the “total peace” program in exchange for money, a suspicion that falls on his brother but to which his son was not linked.
However, hours later, Day Vásquez, ex-wife of Nicolás Petro, in an interview with Semana magazine, accused the president’s eldest son of having received money from drug trafficker Samuel Santander Lopesierra, alias the “Marlboro man”, for the presidential campaign of his father who, however, never reached that destination.
“That never legally reached the campaign because he (Nicolás) kept that money, and so did others”said Vásquez, who assured that Lopesierra gave him Petro’s son “more than 600 million pesos (about 124,700 dollars today) for the father’s campaign” and that he also received 200 million pesos (about $41,500) from businessman Alfonso “Turco” Hilsaca, which did not enter the campaign either. For Rayran, Petro acted well because he anticipated the scandal of his son, although that still caused “damage for the Government.”
“That the Government has been the one that issued the statement, the one that asks the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate his son and his brother, that can reduce the damage a bit but it does not remove it.“said the expert, who recalled that Petro himself and his team four years ago accused former Colombian president Iván Duque of “having received money from people of not very good origin”.
With total peace, the Government seeks to negotiate not only with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), but also with FARC dissidents and also seeks to bring criminal gangs such as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) to justice. .
However, the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, assured on Friday that a prisoner paid 120 million pesos (about 25,000 dollars) to benefit from “total peace.”
In recent months, it became known about the existence of a supposed “lawyer cartel” that apparently goes to prisons to offer drug traffickers benefits or even ask them for money in exchange for being included in “total peace.”
Petro said this week that the only one authorized to make these approaches is Rueda, something that in Rayran’s opinion was poorly managed in terms of communication because it was not clear.
The president’s social reforms also triggered a crisis in his cabinet, from which the Minister of Education, Alejandro Gaviria, critical of the proposed changes to health and, with him, the heads of Culture and Sports, was dismissed this week.
Likewise It has cost the president governance, since some government parties such as the Liberal, the Conservative and the U assured that they will make substantive changes to the bill presented by the Minister of Health, Carolina Corcho, while the Constitutional Court warned that, if it passes, the reform could be knocked down due to procedural defects.
This whole situation has taken its toll on Petro because it shows, in Rayran’s opinion, that there is no “unified position of the Government at different points” and has the president dealing with a crisis that he needs to overcome soon if he wants to make the social changes that They allowed him to take office on August 7.