Colombian VP sworn in as new Foreign Minister

Colombia’s Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez has been sworn in as the country’s new Foreign Minister after nationwide anti-government protests led to the resignation of Claudia Blum from the post.

Expressing her gratitude to President Ivan Duque for his trust, Ramirez said on Monday that her main task will be to present the international community with an accurate account of what is happening in the South American country.

“It is an honour to assume the post of Vice President and Foreign Minister of Colombia… I will explain a reality as complex as the one we are experiencing: in our country there is rule of law and our government respects peaceful protest, but also forcefully rejects vandalism and roadblocks,” she said.

On May 13, Blum presented Duque with her irrevocable resignation amid social turmoil and an indefinite nationwide strike sparked at the end of April by a proposed tax hike that was later rescinded.

At least 44 people have died in connection with the demonstrations, according to the national ombudsman’s office.

Opposition to a health reform, which has also been scrapped, and advocacy for the fragile peace process were then some of the new issues that brought people out onto the streets.

Besides, Blum, Economy Minister Alberto Carrasquilla had also resigned in the wake of the violent protests.