Colombia’s defense minister became the subject of ridicule on Monday after claiming that rising crime rates in the east of the country are due to laundry theft.
Fortunately, the robberies of residences are minor thefts and highly concentrated in the theft of clothes that are on ropes for drying.
Defense Minister Guillermo Botero
Crime has increased by 58% from 2018 in Vichada, and residents were hoping to have their safety concerns addressed by the minister.
The statement resulted in immediate protest from the community, prompting Botero to backtrack and rectify that it was “mostly” laundry theft.
The rectification proved to be insufficient for the internet, as Colombians quickly took to twitter to mock Botero’s latest assault on logic.
He is an inexhaustible source of humor. Every time he opens his mouth the cartoonists just have to draw it and quote it.
After the intervention of @mindefensa on security in #Vichada, we do not know whether to go out and extend clothes in the company of the Police.
Minister, we recovered 8 underpants, 3 shirts and five tiger blankets. We have won, Vichada.
This isn’t the first time Botero has made headlines with obfuscated claims or opinions.
In September 2018 he attributed the financing of social protests to mafias, and called for the government to regulate this fundamental rights.
More recently, the staunchly conservative minister falsely claimed members of the ELN were responsible for the murder of a community leader that led to a national wave of indignation. He quickly retracted this statement on Twitter after other authorities pointed out that the leftist guerrillas aren’t active anywhere near where the leader was murdered.
Though Botero’s reflex of making sweeping and unsubstantiated assumptions has resulted in many sheepish retractions, his track record both on and off the internet suggests little hope for eloquence in the future.