Colombia’s ambassador to Washington DC resigned two months after a recording was leaked in which he criticized ministers and said the State Department was “destroyed,” local media reported Friday.
According to Semana columnist Vicky Davila, ambassador Francisco Santos wrote to President Ivan Duque saying he would accept a different government position, claiming “the moment has arrived to recover the possibility to give my opinion freely.”
I thank you, Mr. President Duque, for the offers you made to continue in your government. I think that the time has come for me to recover the possibility of giving my opinion freely on the interesting and challenging situation our country is going through and which calls for full frankness. I wish to continue serving the Colombian people through my unwavering struggle for democratic ideas and for truth.
Ambassador Francisco Santos via Semana
The cousin of former President Juan Manuel Santos got in trouble in November when the notorious blabbermouth was recorded while talking privately with Foreign Minister Claudia Blum.
According to Blu Radio, the radio station of Duque’s brother-in-law, Santos’s bashing of the Trump administration caused “great annoyance” in Washington.
Duque recalled the ambassador immediately but wouldn’t sack him. Instead, the president apparently went looking for a different job for the dynasty politician.
November’s scandal was the second involving Santos, who was suspected of revealing plans to topple the government in neighboring Venezuela to a Brazilian journalist in October 2018.
Santos is a major figure in Duque’s far-right Democratic Center party, despite being a bit of a loose cannon, especially when he doesn’t get his way.
The former Vice-President of Duque’s political patron Alvaro Uribe threatened to abandon the CD ahead of the 2014 presidential elections when he wasn’t picked to run against his cousin.