The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Álvaro Leyva, has announced that he will comply with the suspension issued by the Colombian Attorney General’s Office at the end of January. This decision comes after days of legal debate, during which Leyva had initially refused to leave office and was accused of “contempt.”
In a statement, Leyva stated, “I allow myself to inform the public that today I was informed of the decision of the Attorney General of the nation confirming the suspension of my position as Minister of Foreign Affairs. In this regard, I inform that I abide by the decision, separating myself from the exercise of my duties.”
Leyva explained that he had continued to exercise the functions of minister based on the advice of his attorney, who believed that it was the disciplinary investigation chamber that had decided to send a copy of the ruling to the President of the Republic for compliance with the provisional suspension.
Following this, Leyva sent a letter to the Attorney General, Margarita Cabello, in which he explained the reasons for his decision, stating, “Notwithstanding the above, once this hermeneutical discussion has been overcome in the ruling that resolved the degree of consultation, I proceed accordingly.”
Colombian President, Gustavo Petro, has criticized the attorney general’s measure, which he believes has created “the figure of self-suspension.” He stated, “It is the president who appoints and it is the president who suspends.”
On January 24, the head of Colombian diplomacy was suspended for three months for declaring as void a public tender to find a company in charge of issuing passports and immediately declaring manifest urgency, without apparently having objective causes for it. Despite the suspension being immediate, Leyva continued to sign contracts and appointments.
Petro has claimed that the measure seeks to prevent a popular government in the country.
The situation has created a legal and political debate in Colombia, with many questioning the decision-making process and the implications for the functioning of the government. The controversy surrounding Leyva’s suspension has raised concerns about the rule of law and the separation of powers in the country.
As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the Colombian government will address the fallout from the suspension and the broader implications for governance and accountability.
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