Colombia’s lower home freezes reform disputes in the middle of voice memo scandal By Reuters

© Reuters. Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro gestures as he leaves the South American Top at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil Might 30, 2023. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

By Nelson Bocanegra

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s lower home on Monday stated it would freeze disputes on government-backed social reforms, as previous high-ranking authorities in President Gustavo Petro’s administration were contacted us to offer proof over declared project funding abnormalities.

The federal government of leftist Petro, who took workplace in 2015, has actually sent out proposed labor, pension and health reforms – crucial policy assures – to Congress for approval.

The freeze in dispute makes it not likely the costs will win approval prior to completion of the legal session on June 20, pausing their development a minimum of up until the brand-new legal session starts a month later on.

The disputes “can not be impacted by external elements that might result in a result that isn’t favorable for the nation,” David Racero, president of the chamber and a member of Petro’s congressional union, informed reporters.

Petro accepted the resignations of both his previous chief of personnel Laura Sarabia and the previous ambassador to Venezuela Armando Benedetti recently, after the chief law officer’s workplace stated 2 previous workers of Sarabia were victims of unlawful phone taps after she reported the theft of $4,000 from her house.

Benedetti was implicated of dripping details from among the ex-employees to journalism, which he has actually rejected. Sarabia has actually likewise rejected any misdeed.

Over the weekend a regional publication released audio messages that Benedetti presumably sent out to Sarabia, who worked for him when he was a congressman.

In one recording Benedetti utilizes phrasing that media outlets and political leaders have actually analyzed as being connected to project financing abnormalities, though Benedetti stated on Twitter the audio was “controlled”.

Petro rejected any funding abnormalities by means of Twitter.

The National Electoral Council stated in a file it has actually called Benedetti and Sarabia to offer proof on the claims on June 13.

” We are getting in a limbo of ingovernability since of the scandals that indicate the federal government needs to offer descriptions,” stated legislator Ciro Ramirez, of the opposition Democratic Center.

The federal government states the pension costs would enhance the state pensions administrator and the labor reform would minimize working hours. Critics argue they might adversely affect Colombia’s financial resources and injure task development.

The health reform, suggested to increase gain access to, has actually currently triggered numerous ministerial modifications.

” These scandals plainly weaken the federal government’s trustworthiness,” stated expert Sergio Guzman of Colombia Threat Analysis, including market unpredictability might increase.


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