Colombia’s polemic defense minister on Thursday survived a motion of no confidence filed by the country’s leftist opposition that wanted him to be removed from office.
The opposition filed the motion of no confidence against Defense Minister Guillermo Botero last month after an article in the New York Times exposing army orders to double the number of combat kills and captures.
Despite additional controversy over the minister’s conflict of interest over his private security company that is overseen by the defense ministry and his attempts to cover up the murder of a former FARC guerrilla, the vast majority of House representatives voted against the motion.
With only 20 votes in favor and 121 against, the motion failed and Botero gets to keep his job.
The defense minister expressed his gratitude to the government’s minority coalition and the center right voting block that voted to keep him in office.
Thank you for the friendly faces that have accompanied me with their solidarity and affection. Not to mention the support of my generals who supported me. To them and to the friends of Radical Change, the U Party, the liberals, the Mira Party and the Democratic Center, thank you very much because you accompanied me with your vote. To all of you, my feelings of appreciation.
Defense Minister Guillermo Botero
Botero is the second minister of the administration of President Ivan Duque to survive a motion of no confidence; Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla did the same last year after he came under fire over a police he promoted during a previous government that ended up nearly bankrupting more than 100 municipalities and enriched himself.
Colombia’s congress hasn’t sacked any cabinet member in recent memory despite the almost constant corruption scandals that have haunted the executive branch and the governments in it for decades.