Insights | Closeness: Duque’s commitment to his cabinet


Closeness: Duque’s commitment to his cabinet

With the appointment of Diego Molano as the new Defense Minister, replacing the late Carlos Holmes Trujillo, a fact evidenced in recent Palace appointments is verified: for the final stretch of his government, President Iván Duque is committed to people who are very close and of their entire trust in figures of greater political relevance or who respond to the party quota scheme.

As a prominent member of the ruling Democratic Center, Diego Andrés Molano Aponte, already served within the government of Iván Duque, director of the Administrative Department of the Presidency of the Republic. Thus, it is clear that the President is betting on an acquaintance who follows the same line as Holmes Trujillo in the fight against drug trafficking, dismantling armed groups, defending biodiversity and strengthening the Armed Forces. Another point to highlight after the appointment of Molano is that like Guillermo Botero and Carlos Holmes Trujillo, the new Defense Minister has no experience in the area of ​​national defense, but he did work during the Álvaro Uribe governments.

This antecedent makes him very close to the hard wing of the Democratic Center, taking pressure off the President against his own party. In addition to the appointment of Diego Molano, President Duque has recently announced other changes in the cabinet that go along the same lines: maintaining the same team but changing positions. In December 2020 he promoted the Vice Minister of Culture, Felipe Buitrago, as head of the portfolio. The same happened with Daniel Palacios, who before being appointed Minister of the Interior, already had greater visibility than Alicia Arango, who was appointed in turn at the Colombian Embassy to the UN.

Other appointments that prove that President Duque prefers to govern with an inner circle relegating external political figures are: former Interior Minister Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez is today the presidential adviser for Human Rights; Karen Abudinen, former Councilor for the Regions, is currently Minister of ICT and Luis Alberto Rodríguez went from the Vice Ministry of Finance to the Department of National Planning. Within the political “rumor mill” it is also speculated that the Chancellor, Claudia Blum, would also be close to leaving her post and that her future would be in an embassy on the old continent.