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Petro accuses Itamaraty’s secretary general of betrayal in passport contract

The Colombian president, Gustavo Pedrothis Monday accused the secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of treason, José Antonio Salazarfor the award to the company Thomas Greg and Sons the passport manufacturing contract, which is why he fired him.

The secretary general of Chancellery He betrayed us. Your immediate non-subsistence is signed. The contract is corrupt and private company capacity is involved in all contract processes. Thomas Greg and Sons and the monopolization of all private data in a single private company“, said the president on the social network X.

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The Government suspended the competition last week until more than 550 observations made by interested parties were analyzed, in the midst of a controversy that led to the Attorney General’s Office (Public Ministry) to suspend the Colombian chancellor from office for three months, Álvaro Leyva.

Itamaraty had also transferred the responsibility for directing this bidding to the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which would be in charge of coordinating the administrative, budgetary, legal and related procedures.

Although, Salazar signed this Monday the resolution with which the contract was awarded 599 billion pesos (around 149 million dollars) for the Temporary Union Passports 2023led by Thomas Greg & Sons.

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A tortuous process

He public ministry Last January, Leyva was suspended due to possible irregularities that occurred during the bidding for the passport manufacturing contract.

Leyva accepted the decision and the Colombian president, Gustavo Pedroappointed the responsible ambassador as responsible chancellor washingtonLuís Gilberto Murillo.

However, the Attorney General’s Office did not suspend Salazar for this case, despite being investigated since last September for alleged irregularities in the cancellation of the competition for issue passports.

O Chancellery suspended the competition because, according to other companies interested in the competition, there is no free competition since in the last 17 years the same company, Thomas Greg and Sonswas responsible for producing Colombian passports and visa stickers.

For the contract with Thomas Greg and Sons It still had three years of validity remaining, which is why the company, after failing to reach a conciliation agreement with the Government, announced last December legal action against the State for 117 billion pesos (about $29.5 million today).

Source: Elcomercio

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