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Colombia's Foreign Minister, Claudia Blum, submitted her resignation this Thursday to the post, which she held since November 2019.
"I want, in the most respectful manner, to submit to you my irrevocable resignation to the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, effective immediately," reads the letter sent by Blum to Colombian President Iván Duque, dated last Tuesday, May 11.
Her departure from the Foreign Ministry occurs although Blum was scheduled to travel to Madrid (Spain), Brussels (Belgium), and The Hague (Netherlands) to meet with delegates from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and the diplomatic staff of her country, to offer the Government's version on the protests that have been taking place in Colombia since last April 28, and which have caused the death of more than 40 people.
Police brutality and violence in the streets have put Colombia in the spotlight of international and human rights organizations, which warn about abuses in the use of force and the need for the Government to open dialogue mechanisms to address the country's needs, which have been aggravated by the harsh impact of the pandemic among the poorest.
"I am sure that, under your leadership, the country will continue on the path of sustainable development, in the social and economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic, and in the consolidation of the consensus that ratifies the unity and strength of our Nation," reads the resignation letter of the former Foreign Minister, whose imminent departure from the post began to be rumored among the Colombian media earlier this week.
This is the second resignation from Duque's cabinet since the beginning of the protests, which started to reject the tax reform. Popular discontent pressured the president to withdraw the proposal from Congress and, a day later, led to the minister of finance's resignation (and leading promoter of the law), Alberto Carrasquilla.
In addition, the resignation of the diplomat comes after Laura Gil published in the website La Línea del Medio a video that Blum allegedly asked to be disclosed among employees and managers of Tecnoquímicas, a medical, sanitary, and veterinary products company based in Cali, presided by the husband of the Chancellor, Francisco José Barbier.
"After her disastrous tenure, I would add. Chancellor Claudia Blum officially resigned from her post."
The recording, narrated in English, which shows only images of the isolated acts of violence that have occurred in the context of the demonstrations in Colombia, states that the marches "are driven by violent groups and leftist politicians whose goal is to take over the country."
In the audiovisual material, it is asserted that Senator Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, together with "narco-terrorist" groups, have organized and financed "urban terrorist attacks," which have been overlapped by the protests. Likewise, they are accused of making the world believe "that state authorities are using excessive force."
It is also claimed that the demonstrations are not peaceful. "Let's be clear about one thing: violence is illegitimate, force is legitimate," it says.
Blum was at the helm of the Foreign Ministry for just over a year and was preceded by the late Carlos Holmes Trujillo, who moved to the Defense portfolio. The position is expected to be temporarily filled by Deputy Foreign Minister Adriana Mejía.
After her appointment, Blum was the protagonist of controversy after disclosing a conversation she had with the Colombian ambassador to the U.S., Francisco Santos, where they referred to the interference strategies of the South American country in Venezuela's internal affairs.