The Colombian Senate this Thursday voted against the motion of censure against Defense Minister Diego Molano tabled by a group of opposition Congressmen for his management during protests that have been going on across the country for a month, in which there have been at least five deaths and hundreds of complaints against police work.
The motion had 31 votes in favor, 69 against that of the senators from the Democratic Center, Radical Change, the Conservative Party and much of the Liberal Party, a formation that surprised after its leader, César Gaviria, campaigned for the motion of censure .
After overcoming this first obstacle, Molano has to face the next vote in the House of Representatives after the debate last Monday. Although it is expected to reappear unharmed, it is possible that it will not be celebrated because, as the Colombian Constitution states, “once a chamber has made its motion, its decision prevents the other from speaking”.
Molano received the result as a “vote of confidence in the armed forces and the Ministry of Defense” and as an “admonition to advance and continue to protect the peace and freedom of millions of Colombians who do not march” in a demonstration in which the work of the police and the authorities have been widely questioned both inside and outside the country.
It is the President’s third defense minister, Iván Duque, to face a proposal from Congress, after Guillermo Botero and the late Carlos Holmes Trujillo, who were successful, despite the fact that the latter chose to step down after being denounced for the second time in just four years was months.
The protests, which began a month ago in several Colombian cities, have already left about 50 dead, the vast majority of them by police forces, as well as about 600 injured, more than 1,400 arbitrary detentions and a number of complaints of sexual abuse in police stations.
This week the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) again insisted to the Colombian government that it is important to allow a visit to the country to assess the human rights situation and regrets that it has been blocking its entrance since May 14th.