The president of Congress has issued a public apology Monday after being heavily criticized for arguing his salary was not enough to cover transport costs.
Coming at a time when it was revealed members of Congress earn 20 times the national average and in the middle of a dispute over the reclassification of poverty definitions, Juan Manuel Corzo’s comments provoked a massive public backlash.
Following the media condemnation and public protests, Corzo tweeted, “the high dignity that I represent obliges me to recognize, as a citizen, that I made a mistake and to offer my apologies to the people of Colombia.”
The uproar began when Corzo said it was “impossible” to run the cars he needed on his monthly salary of $11,500 in attempt to get Congress to approve the reinstatement of fuel subsidies for members.
On Monday, protesters created a special 190,000 peso “Corzo bill.” The amount represents the government’s new definition of poverty, which states if a person earns 190,000 pesos (approximately $99) then they are not poor if they are part of a family of four whose joint income is over approximately $430.