Colombia’s Prosecutor General has requested the resignation of her closest team, including top government and judiciary officials, according to newspaper El Colombiano.
Those whose resignations have been requested by Prosecutor General Viviane Morales include Deputy Attorney General Juan Carlos Forero, National Director of Public Prosecutions Nestor Armando, directors of the National Technical Investigation Team, court prosecutors, heads of administrative units and national heads of office.
Government sources have been quick to downplay the move. Director Nestor Armando, who is among those being called on to resign, described the staff turnover as a normal situation that occurs in all administrations.
“I have 26 years in the judiciary, and it is not the first time that in their first year in office the prosecutor general has asked for the resignation of those closest to them. I see it as something very natural,” said Armado.
The official added, “This does not mean there is a crisis, this does not mean there are setbacks,” and said that within the instiitution “there is no such uncertainty. On the contrary, there is a serious and cohesive group that wants to continue working.”
Armando suggested that the present group had been working hard, and that the prosecutor general had asked for the resignations partly to prevent exhaustion. He added, “Dr. Viviane Morales was very clear that that she could not force us to do anything, and that it had nothing to do with a malfunction or internal crisis.”
The call for resignations comes amid the controversy of the past week for the prosecutor general, who was asked to open an investigation into her husband Carlos Alonso Lucio, for his controversial role in paramilitary disarmament in 2004.