Colombia’s loathed finance minister to resign after deadly protests: reports

Alberto Carrasquilla (Image: Wikipedia)

Colombia’s controversial finance minister will resign after mass protests forced President Ivan Duque to withdraw the government’s latest reform proposal, according to local media.

According to Blu Radio, which is run by President Ivan Duque’s brother-in-law, Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla plans to hand in his resignation for the second time on Monday.

The minister offered his resignation for the first time last year already, but stayed in office after the Central Bank voted against his ambitions to become president.

This time, Colombia’s most loathed politicians reportedly will leave office after President Ivan Duque promised to withdraw Carrasquilla’s tax reform proposal that sparked deadly protests.

The finance minister’s proposed tax reform was already dead in the water as no political party would support his Carraquilla’s third tax reform proposal.

The finance minister is one of the most loyal allies of Duque and the president’s unofficial boss, former President Alvaro Uribe, who made Carrasquilla finance minister in 2003.

The economist is also one of Colombia’s most loathed politicians because of his ineptitude, corruption and tax reforms seeking to enrich the country’s elite at the expense of the general population.

Carrasquilla used his position as Uribe’s finance minister to legalize a criminal racket that all but bankrupted almost 10% of the country’s municipalities, but enriched himself.

As finance minister of Duque proposed to grant tax discounts to corporations against the almost unanimous advice of Colombia’s economists, which triggered the country’s largest ant-government protests in 2019.

Carrasquilla’s latest tax reform proposal was proposed to Congress in early April and rejected by all political parties but Uribe’s far-right Democratic Center party.

The government’s attempts to have the reform approved through congressional backdoors triggered last week’s protests that left 21 people dead, and an unknown number of offices of banks and corporations destroyed.

Government critics celebrated the finance minister’s reported renunciation, but said they were vigilant Carrasquilla wasn’t  involved in another governmental get-rich-quick scheme.

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