Several ministers of the outgoing president failed miserably, while others achieved good results
Photo: TW-Fruizgomez, TW-karenabudi
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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Leer en español: Los mejores y peores ministros del Gobierno de Iván Duque
A few days after the end of his 4 years of Government, the time has come to make accounts and analyze what the Government of Iván Duque left behind. 4 years in which he had to deal with the worst pandemic in recent history, the worst national strikes in decades, and an incipient peace process that promised various changes. LatinAmerican Post made a summary of the worst and best ministers of the Duque period:
Worst Ministers of the Duque Government
Without a doubt, the public official most rejected by opponents and allies of Iván Duque. Carrasquilla rose to power with an enviable resume, Minister of Finance during the Government of Álvaro Uribe, an economist from the Universidad de Los Andes, with a master's and a doctorate in Economics from the University of Illinois.
However, his great technical experience was lacking in political experience. Know how to talk to the media and "sell" a tax reform that nobody wanted. Many blame him for being one of the main people responsible for the 2021 National Strike. His false starts and his contradictory messages with the president were a source of frustration for the majority of Colombians who went out to march despite the pandemic.
He had to leave the Government in May 2021 with the reform withdrawn by the Government and with a country on fire.
ICT Minister. Abudinen came to the National Government with the support of the Char Family, an important group of politicians and businessmen from the Caribbean coast. She had served as Secretary of Social Management and Secretary of Education of the Mayor's Office of Barranquilla during the mandate of Alejandro Char; director of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) during the government of Juan Manuel Santos; and presidential adviser for the Regions of Iván Duque.
In May 2020, she took office as Minister of Information Technology and Communications. At the end of the year, she had to face a corruption scandal in her ministry. By August 2021, the scandal was already a national trend and the official was facing a possible motion of censure from Congress.
He came to the public sector after being president of the National Federation of Merchants (FENALCO). He was appointed as Minister of Defense and since his arrival, he faced several controversies. In 2019, President Duque gave the United Nations false information about the presence of guerrilla groups in Venezuela, the information that had been provided by intelligence (under Botero's orders) consisted of false images of Colombia.
Additionally, he faced multiple accusations of new extrajudicial executions by members of the Armed Forces and of controversies in the way in which the rearmament of the FARC dissidents was being combated.
But his most controversial scandal was a bombardment carried out by the Armed Forces against an alleged FARC camp. Later it became known that 18 minors died in the operation, and Botero and the government were accused of wanting to hide the facts. The minister had to resign before a possible motion of censure that could remove him from office in 2019.
Best Ministers of the Duque Government
Dr. Fernando Ruiz Gomez
Perhaps the minister with the greatest challenge in the current administration, Ruiz Gómez was the visible face of the Government during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the fact that initially there was much concern about the arrival of vaccines in Colombia, it can be said that he achieved good results and kept the country stable despite the great challenge.
Today, both opponents and close personalities highlight the work of Ruiz Gómez. It leaves results of 83.1% in first and only doses; 70.3% with a complete scheme and 34.3% in reinforcements. HE also applied the Final Point Agreement to settle the debts of the sector.
Jose Manuel Restrepo
Restrepo had been serving as Minister of Commerce until in 2021 Alberto Carrasquilla had to resign from the Ministry of Finance after a failed tax reform that left the Duque Government in check. Restrepo took on the challenge of taking on public finances in the red and with a country on fire left by his predecessor.
As Trade Minister, he was one of the best civil servants in the outgoing Government. According to the company Cifras y Conceptos, he obtained a rating of 55 points out of 100. In his position as Minister of Finance, he has had the quality of being less confrontational and seeking agreements.
Maria Victoria Angulo
Under most of the administration, she kept a low profile, which is to be expected of a good minister. She was important during the national strike, since her portfolio was the one that acquired the most commitments to reach agreements with the protesters. During the 4 years, she implemented the 0 enrollment program.
Now that a cycle is closing, a new Cabinet will come that promises change and improvements for Colombians. However, the outlook is difficult and ordinary citizens will not have much patience to begin to see the results that Gustavo Petro has promised.