Colombian Foreign Minister resigned Thursday May 13 amid international condemnation of the excessive use of force by security forces against civilians engaged in anti-government protests since April 28.
Claudia Blum, in a letter to President Ivan Duque, did not specify the reasons for his departure.
“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 the consensus which confirms the unity and strength of our nation,” he said. she writes.
Local media and opposition parties said Blum’s resignation was inevitable given the damage to reputation caused by a police crackdown condemned by the UN, the United States, the European Union and advocacy groups. international rights.
Clashes between police and protesters have left at least 42 dead – including one policeman – and more than 1,500 injured to date, according to official figures.
NGOs say the number is higher.
Blum is the second minister to step down from the government of President Ivan Duque.
Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla, author of the tax reform that sparked the protests, resigned on April 28.
The tax reform bill has since been withdrawn, but protests have continued, turning into a larger anti-government protest in a country struggling with continued violence and economic hardship made worse by the coronavirus outbreak.