Colombia Gets New Interior Minister Amid Controversy over Peace Deal

Alicia Arango. Photo: Getty Images

HAVANA TIMES – Colombian President Ivan Duque on Friday appointed Alicia Arango the country’s new interior minister to replace Nancy Patricia Gutierrez, who came under fire for criticizing the 2016 peace deal with the FARC guerrillas, reported dpa news.

Arango, 61, was labour minister until now.

Gutierrez will become presidential human rights adviser, replacing Francisco Barbosa, who was appointed attorney general on Thursday.

Duque announced the appointments of Arango and Gutierrez on his Twitter account.

Gutierrez, who had been in charge of the government’s relations with Congress, had been criticized for failing to push through legal initiatives.

This week, she came under fire for criticizing the peace deal with FARC, which led to the demobilization of some 7,000 fighters.

FARC dissidents and other armed groups remain active in the country where hundreds of civil society leaders have been killed since 2016.

Gutierrez said the peace deal had “half failed” and attributed that to a lack of will from FARC.

Critics accused her of denying the responsibility of the government, which “has done whatever it can to dismantle the peace agreement,” in the words of Senator Roy Barreras. Duque has criticized the deal as being too lenient on the ex-rebels.

The new attorney general, Barbosa, succeeds Nestor Humberto Martinez, a controversial figure who resigned last year after a post-conflict tribunal denied the extradition of a former FARC commander to the United States on charges of drug trafficking.

The new appointments will enter into force on February 15. Duque did not immediately announce who will succeed Arango.

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