Presidential elections: the suspension of the mayor of Medellín unleashes a political storm in Colombia

The mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, in an image from last December 10.
The mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, in a picture from final December 10.Álvaro Tavera (co-press)

Daniel Quintero has been on the heart of controversy for the umpteenth time, however this time his dangerous guess has price him. The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Margarita Cabello, introduced this Tuesday evening that it’s provisionally suspending the mediatic mayor of Medellín, who had resorted to puns to pour out his undisguised help for Gustavo’s presidential marketing campaign on social networks. Petro, the left-wing candidate who leads the polls, regardless of the ban on public officers from taking part in electoral politics. “Jugadita” is an expression that has made a profession in Colombian politics to consult with a entice or shortcut with the aim of breaking the principles. With that colloquial time period, Quintero’s most up-to-date departure, which has precipitated the suspension, may also be framed.

“The change in first,” says Quintero, behind the wheel of a truck, in a brief video that he posted on Twitter on Monday, accompanied by that very same label, whereas transferring the lever of the Ford car. The message is a not-so-subtle nod to the manifest intention of the Historic Pact marketing campaign, the motley left-wing alliance headed by Petro, to hunt a definitive victory within the first spherical on May 29, for which it must acquire greater than half of the votes if you wish to keep away from a ballotage. The photos had been accompanied by the query “Who follows me?”. The different political sectors had been fast to explain the video as improper participation in politics, and additional proof of the shut alliance of the mayor with the presidential candidate. The Attorney General took lower than 48 hours to announce the measure.

Those hyperlinks with the Petrismo have been evidenced, amongst others, in a number of officers from Quintero’s cupboard who’ve resigned from the Medellín mayor’s workplace to hitch the Historic Pact marketing campaign. The mayor’s spouse, the social supervisor Diana Osorio, has publicly mentioned that she goes to vote for Petro, though the prohibition in opposition to proselytizing doesn’t weigh on her. The Attorney General’s Office had already opened an investigation in opposition to Quintero for participation in politics after he confirmed in a photograph on social networks that he voted within the session of the Historical Pact within the March legislative elections, and this Tuesday he had already introduced a brand new investigation across the video.

The Attorney General’s Office can “investigate, provisionally suspend and sanction, even with dismissal and disability, all public servants in the country, including those elected by popular vote,” recalled Attorney Hair in a video message. In addition to Quintero, the official introduced the suspension and investigation in opposition to three different officers –together with the mayor of Ibagué, Andrés Fabián Hurtado–, all for “the alleged and repeated intervention in political activities and controversies.”

With his model of everlasting confrontation, Quintero has been a magnet for controversy. Since he took workplace slightly over two years in the past, the administration he has given to the Public Companies of Medellin and the Hidroituango megaproject, specifically, have precipitated successive political crises within the metropolis. Since the very marketing campaign that introduced him to energy, he has lashed out at businessmen, and has even in contrast them to drug cartels in a metropolis that suffered from the violence and terrorism unleashed by Pablo Escobar.

All politics is native, goes the well-known phrase of American strategists. It shouldn’t be the primary time that the administration of the mayor of Medellín breaks in a roundabout way into an extended presidential marketing campaign the place Sergio Fajardo and Federico Gutiérrez, two former mayors of the capital of the division of Antioquia, the second most populous metropolis within the nation after Bogotá. . The lengthy wrestle to carry to the polls the opportunity of revoking Quintero’s mandate divided the candidates of the completely different coalitions and aimed to accumulate a nationwide dimension, though the electoral authorities have buried that initiative.

In a race that tends in the direction of polarization between Petro’s left and Fico’s proper, the help or rejection of the recall try was a very thorny situation for the Hope Center Coalition, headed by Fajardo. Despite the truth that its members have been crucial of Quintero, from the middle they didn’t decisively push the efforts to take away him from workplace, since they had been led by Uribismo, the political present created round former President Álvaro Uribe. In Paisa politics, a number of bands are performed, as a result of whereas Fajardo seeks to advertise himself as an choice for much less abrupt change, Quintero shares with Petro a speech that at instances has tried to equate the middle of the political spectrum with the Uribe proper.

Both in Medellín and in the remainder of the nation, and from completely different shores, complaints about alleged participation in politics have abounded within the midst of the polarized presidential marketing campaign. Various sectors level to President Iván Duque for having set a nasty instance, and opposition congressmen have filed a number of complaints in opposition to him. Senator Iván Cepeda has identified that varied statements by the president “clearly show his intention to electorally harm the candidate of the Historical Pact, Gustavo Petro.”

The most severe episode occurred final month, when the top of the military, General Eduardo Zapateiro, burst into the marketing campaign and broke the supposed neutrality with an assault on Petro, who had questioned the army excessive command for his or her alleged hyperlinks with the Gulf Clan. The Constitution prohibits public servants from intervening in electoral politics, and within the case of the army it additionally expressly states that the Public Force shouldn’t be deliberative. Duque backed the final’s statements in opposition to Petro on the time.

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