The Colombian Vice President criticized Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday for lacking seriousness and effectiveness in his administration, reported Semana magazine.
The comments came in the wake of revelations indicating high-level corruption and espionage in the military.
In a series of sweeping jabs, Vice President Angelino Garzon reportedly called Santos a “beauty queen, giggling for the whole world,” perhaps in reference to various international trips the president has made in recent months.
Garzon went on to criticize the president’s handling of ongoing peace talks with the FARC rebel group, the oldest in Colombia, saying that government negotiators in Cuba have behaved as the president’s messengers rather than government spokesmen, said the Semana magazine Friday.
The vice president also called attention to the prison oversight body INPEC and recent prison crises, including a fire that killed ten and wounded dozens in a Baranquilla prison in late January. Garzon called on supervisory bodies to come down on INPEC, because “all public servants, everyone, no matter the position we have, we are not immune to the law,” reports national news radio.
Regarding Minister of Education Maria Fernanda Campo and Colombia’s struggling public school system, Garzon said, “we are not a poor state. We have the resources to ensure every child under 25 can study in Colombia.”
Garzon also had sharp words for the Santos administration’s 2011 decision classifying the official poverty line for families of four at $330 or less per month.
In an interview with Colombia Reports, Garzon’s Press Secretary dismissed the “beauty queen” comment made yesterday as being taken out of context, but failed to elaborate on what the appropriate context would be. She reaffirmed that Garzon, who will likely not stay on as vice president, regardless of whether Santos wins reelection in May, continues to support President Santos’ bid for a second term in office.
- Interview with Sulivan Melo (Press Secretary for Angelino Garzon)
- “Uno no puede gobernar como reina de belleza”: Garzón (RCN Radio)
- Vicepresidente: “uno no puede gobernar como una reina de belleza” (Semana Magazine)
- Vicepresidente critica al presidente Santos y a la ministra de Educación (La FM Radio)