The Attorney General’s Office Colombia announced this Tuesday the temporary suspension of the mayor of MedellinDaniel Quintero, and three other officials to investigate them for their alleged participation and intervention in politics less than three weeks before the presidential elections.
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Due to “the alleged and repeated participation in political activities and controversies”, the attorney general, Margarita Cabello Blanco, ordered the opening of a disciplinary investigation and the suspension of their positions of Quintero and his colleague Andrés Fabián Hurtado, mayor of Ibagué, capital of the department of Tolima.
The measure also affects Gustavo Adolfo Herrera, councilman of Calarcá, in the department of Quindío (center), and Grenfell Lozano Guerrero, representative of Nátaga, in the department of Huila (south).
“No public servant, from the lowest rank to the highest level, can use the position to participate in political activities and movements, and in political controversies,” said the attorney general.
Cabello added that “intervention in politics is not reduced to the express request to vote for a candidate, but rather contemplates any action that generates in the collective imagination the making of alliances or support that breaks with the balance of the electoral contest.”
In this sense, he stated that “the use of social networks, the use of the media, cannot be an instrument to affect the impartiality that should characterize this process.”
After the news, Quintero, who supports the presidential candidate of the left, Gustavo Petro, spoke on his social networks denouncing that “the coup d’état has begun in Colombia.”
Petro expressed himself in the same vein, the favorite in all voting intention polls for the presidential elections on May 29, and whose campaign has been joined by several officials from the Medellín Mayor’s Office who previously resigned from their positions.
“Coup d’état in Medellin. I ask all citizens and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to defend the popular vote. The Attorney General’s Office cannot evade the popular mandate, ”Petro wrote on her social networks.
Quintero, who has governed Medellín as an independent movement since 2020, has been involved in several controversies during his administration and in recent months he escaped a process of revocation of his mandate, moved by his political opponents, because the initiative was rejected by the National Electoral Council (CNE).
The opposition to the government of Colombian President Iván Duque has also accused the president of intervening in politics in favor of Petro’s main rival, Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez, candidate of the right-wing coalition Equipo por Colombia.