Home » Petro accuses the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry of treason over a passport contract

Petro accuses the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry of treason over a passport contract

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Petro accuses the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry of treason over a passport contract

The Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, accused this Monday the secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, José Antonio Salazar, of treason for awarding the company Thomas Greg & Sons the contract for the manufacture of passports, which is why he dismissed him.

“The secretary general of the Foreign Ministry has betrayed us. His immediate non-subsistence is signed. The contract is corrupt and here the capacity of the private company is involved in all the processes of Thomas Greg & Sons and in the monopolization of all private data in a single private company,” said the president on the social network X.

The Government had suspended the tender last week until more than 550 observations made by interested parties were reviewed, in the midst of a controversy that led the Attorney General’s Office (Public Ministry) to suspend Colombian Foreign Minister Álvaro from office for three months. Leyva.

The Foreign Ministry had also reassigned the competence to direct this tender to the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which would be in charge of coordinating administrative, budgetary, legal and related procedures.

However, Salazar signed this Monday the resolution with which the contract of 599,000 million pesos (about 149 million dollars) was awarded to the Temporary Union Passports 2023, led by Thomas Greg & Sons.

A tortuous process around passports in Colombia

The Public Ministry suspended Leyva last January due to possible irregularities that occurred during the bidding for the contract to manufacture passports.

Leyva complied with the decision and the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, appointed the ambassador in Washington, Luis Gilberto Murillo, as foreign minister in charge.

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However, the Attorney General’s Office did not suspend Salazar for this case, despite the fact that it has been investigating him since last September for alleged irregularities in the cancellation of the tender to issue the passports.

The Foreign Ministry suspended the tender because, according to other companies interested in the tender, there is no free competition since in the last 17 years the same firm, Thomas Greg & Sons, has been in charge of producing Colombian passports and visa labels.

The contract with Thomas Greg & Sons still had three years of validity left, which is why the company, after failing to reach a conciliation agreement with the Government, announced last December a lawsuit against the State for 117,000 million pesos (about 29.5 million today’s dollars). With EFE

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