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How the suspension of the mayor of Medellín Daniel Quintero turns the presidential campaign in Colombia

How the suspension of the mayor of Medellín Daniel Quintero turns the presidential campaign in Colombia

How the suspension of the mayor of Medellín Daniel Quintero turns the presidential campaign in Colombia

The decision of the Attorney General temporarily suspend the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quinterofor alleged participation and intervention in politics has unleashed a controversy in the presidential campaign less than a month before the elections and has called into question the independence of the institutions in Colombia.

On Monday night, Quinterowho became mayor on January 1, 2020 after having won the elections with the flags of the Independientes movement, He posted a short video in a vehicle that he accompanied with a message that reads: “Who is following me? #ElCambioEnPrimera”.

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That text refers to the campaign of the leftist Gustavo Petroof the coalition Historical Pact, who aims to win the elections in the first round, scheduled for next May 29, although the polls predict that he will have to dispute the Presidency in a second round with the right-wing Federico “Fico” Gutierrez on June 19.

Less than 24 hours after the video was posted, the attorney general, Margarita Cabello, announced the opening of a disciplinary investigation and the suspension of Quintero’s charges and his colleague Andrés Fabián Hurtado, mayor of Ibagué, close to “Fico” Gutiérrez.

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“Due to the alleged and repeated intervention in political activities and controversies, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation announces the opening of a disciplinary investigation and the disciplinary suspension of their positions to Daniel Quintero” and Hurtado, as well as Gustavo Adolfo Herrera, councilman of Calarcá (center), and Grenfell Lozano Guerrero, representative of Nátaga (south), said Cabello.


The prosecutor’s announcement unleashed the biggest controversy of the presidential campaign, then Both Quintero and Petro, former mayor of Bogotá and today a senator, began to speak of a “coup d’état” on their social networks.

This is because sanctions have only fallen on some minor officials and Quinterowhile other personalities like the commander of the Army, general Eduardo Zapateiro, or the Colombian president, Iván Duque, have intervened in the campaign without even being recriminated for it.

Petro He also remembered that he lived the same as QuinteroWell, in 2013, when he was mayor of Bogotá, he was suspended by the then attorney general, Alejandro Ordóñez, who found him responsible for failures in an initiative to de-privatize the garbage collection service.

“I was dismissed by a fascist prosecutor, Mr. Ordóñezand I started a national and international legal fight in which I considered that if a prosecutor circumvented the popular vote, the American Convention on Human Rights, which is part of our Constitution, would be broken”expressed Petro during the plenary session of the Senate.

In that fight, he recalled that in 2020 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) sentenced Colombia for violating his political rights and ordered the State to adapt, within a reasonable time, its internal legal system in relation to matters such as sanctions against elected officials. popular, like Quintero.

While Quintero is suspended, President Duque appointed the High Commissioner for Peace, Juan Camilo Restrepo Gómez, as acting mayor. something that in Petro’s opinion goes against democracy because the selected one is not part of the political current of the mayor elected by popular vote.

“When a member of the Executive or administrative violates the right to elect and to be elected, we are not in a democracy, we are in a dictatorship. The sentence of the Inter-American Court re-establishing the American Convention in Colombia said so”said the presidential candidate.

Although Quintero is not directly part of the campaign, several of his secretaries in the Mayor’s Office resigned to join the aspiration of the leftist candidate and his wife, Diana Osorio, has openly said that she will vote for Petro.


The independence of the control body was questioned by the decisions of the prosecutor, who was Minister of Justice at the beginning of the Duque government and whose decisions have always been viewed with suspicion by the opposition.

However, dozens of officials of various ranks have participated in the political campaign since last year and most cases remain unpunished, despite clear evidence on social media.

Camilo Mancera, legal coordinator of the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), assured that this organization “has made calls precisely to the control organisms and the Attorney General’s Office to carry out actions according to their competences to limit this behavior that ends affecting the electoral contest and the balance between the different candidates”.

“The Attorney General’s Office has the sanctioning power over all officials who have been appointed or designated. However, for those popularly elected officials, it is the responsibility of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation to investigate them so that they are sanctioned by a criminal judge, as established by the Inter-American Court”, express.

Along these lines, he added that the EOM “has been repetitive and has been emphatic that it is the appropriate decision and interpretation, as opposed to the fact that it is only a judge who can limit the political rights of popularly elected public officials.”

Source: Elcomercio

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