The Colombian Foreign Minister, informed the Attorney General’s Office (Public Ministry) this Wednesday that he will abide by the three-month provisional suspension that was imposed on him at the end of January and will separate from the exercise of his duties.

In a letter addressed to the attorney, Daisy HairLeyva reported that he has received the provisional suspension measure and informed him that: “I immediately proceed to comply with the provisions by separating myself from the exercise of functions as Minister of Foreign Affairs.”.

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He Public ministry He suspended Leyva on January 24 for possible irregularities during the passport bidding process, but the chancellor has continued in his duties signing decrees and doing representation work.

Leyva assured that he remained in office because he considered that the Attorney General’s Office had to send its decision to the Colombian president. Gustavo Petroto comply with the provisional suspension measure”.

And once today it has been “the decision of the Attorney General of the Nation has been communicated”, has decided to separate from the exercise of his duties.

This decision comes on the same day that a delegation from the UN Security Council comes to Colombia for a three-day visit to monitor progress in the implementation of the peace agreement and reaffirm commitment to open peace negotiations with armed groups.

Leyva met on Monday, despite the suspension, with senior US officials, including the US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finerand has also signed appointments in embassies and was going to be the one to receive the Security Council on his third visit to Colombia.

However, it is now up to the president to appoint a replacement.

The suspension of the chancellor

Last September, the Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation against Leyva and the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, Jose Antonio Salazarfor irregularities in the cancellation of the tender to issue passports.

The Foreign Ministry then indicated that this decision was made because, according to other companies interested in the tender, there is no free competition since in the last 17 years the same firm, Thomas Greg & Sonshas been in charge of producing Colombian passports and visa labels, and suspended its contract, which still had three years left.

After failing to reach a conciliation agreement with the Government, the company announced last December a lawsuit against the State for 117,000 million pesos (about 29.8 million dollars, at today’s exchange rate).

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For having incurred two disciplinary offenses, by exceeding his duties by declaring the process void and then decreeing the manifest urgency apparently without need, Cabello announced his suspension for three months in January.

And today he ordered the opening of a disciplinary investigation for “alleged contempt“, at the same time that he certified copies before the Prosecutor’s Office so that they could evaluate “whether the possible behavior of the Minister of Foreign Affairs constitutes any criminal conduct that warrants investigation by that entity”.

The controversy over the passport contract cost the director of the National Legal Defense Agency of the State her job. Martha Lucía Zamorawho was asked by President Petro to resign after Leyva reproached him because he was supposedly not doing well defending the case.


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