Bogota. – Gustavo Petropresident ColombiaOn Monday, he announced the sudden departure of Education Minister Alejandro Gaviria. Culture, Patricia Ariza, and Sport, María Isabel Urrutia, in the first crisis in her government after six months of rule.
Petro said in a speech in which he referred to the reforms promoted by his government but did not explain the reasons for the changes.
The president reported that Aurora Vergara, a sociologist who was deputy minister of higher education, would be the new head of that portfolio and appointed Astrid Rodriguez as the new minister of sports “so that they can complete the reform process that has begun with new energy.”
Meanwhile, Petro did not say who would replace Ariza as Minister of Culture, although the presidency indicated that musician Ignacio Zorro would take over for the time being.
Colombia’s health reform, the trigger
Apparently, the impetus for this crisis was the government’s mid-February health reform to Congress that was introduced. Alexander Gaviriawho was Minister of Health for 7 years under President Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018), has been a harsh critic.
The Colombian government wants to change the health system to strengthen primary care and also bring care to the “abandoned areas,” those remote communities where the nearest care center is currently several hours away by boat or mules up steep roads.
The controversial initiative caused deep debates in the Cabinet and one of the most critical voices was that of Gaviria, who also had disagreements with the Minister of Health, Carolina Corcho, even before they were appointed by Petro as ministers.
Along these lines, Petro stressed on Monday that “this government of change will not abandon reforms to improve health, pensions and just working conditions for all Colombians.”
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