Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday accepted the resignation of Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry, who will be replaced by current Mining Minister Mauricio Cardenas.
Echeverry’s resignation came as a surprise as none of the local media predicted Santos would accept the resignation of the Finance Minister.
The change of minister followed shortly after the resignation of all 16 members of Santos’ cabinet on Wednesday.
The voluntary resignation of the cabinet was followed by a storm of speculation in Colombian media which attributed the radical shuffle in Santos’ government to his aspirations to run for the 2014-2018 presidency, upcoming peace talks with the country’s largest guerrilla group FARC, and the increasing criticism the president has received from his predecessor Alvaro Uribe.
The resigned Interior Minister Federico Renjifo, a close ally of Santos, said the president “wants a recompilation that brings cohesion to the team, that gives it new dimensions to end the remainder of the presidential term, and assure the goals we have worked towards over the past two years.”