Private Schedule Takes Priority: President Petro’s Participation in September 27 Event Uncertain
President Gustavo Petro may potentially skip the conclusion of the rallies scheduled for September 27, which are organized to show support for his policies. In Bogota, this event is planned to culminate at Bolivar Square, situated in front of the Congress of Deputies headquarters.
As per reports from local media, the government’s communication team has indicated that the head of state might prioritize his private schedule, and his participation will be contingent upon the unfolding events at the executive offices throughout the day.
Government’s Allocation of $263 Million Pesos for September 27 March Sparks Transparency Concerns over Contract Details
Following the National Government’s call for marches on September 27, it was revealed that the current administration invested $263,109,000 pesos for the organization and logistics of the event. The contract for organizing the event, visible on the SECOP II page, was awarded to Main Square Medellin, a company that has previously worked on several Presidency events. However, the contractor listed on SECOP is the Popular Culture Foundation. These funding decisions have raised eyebrows and generated discussions about the transparency of government contracts.
Senator María Fernanda Cabal, a member of the Democratic Center party, expressed her concerns regarding the Petro government’s allocation of more than 200 million pesos for the central event at Bolívar Square in Bogota, aimed at supporting Petro’s proposed reforms. She criticized the use of taxpayer funds for what she considered extravagant government expenses.
(Read Also: Guerrilla Movements in Colombia: FARC and ELN)
Democratic Center Representative Highlights Tax Reform-March Expenditure Contradiction
Representative Hernan Cadavid, a fellow member of the Democratic Center party, also raised concerns. He pointed out the contradiction between the burdensome tax reforms imposed on Colombians, which increase costs for both businesses and individuals, and the government’s substantial expenditure on mobilizing marches involving sectors from other regions. He highlighted the inconsistency in these priorities.
The Administrative Department of the Presidency (Dapre), in collaboration with Main Square Medellín, has initiated an effort to organize events at the Narino Palace, Colombia’s presidential building. The expenses associated with these events include staging, sound, screen setup, lighting, fencing, brigades, and other logistics at the Plaza de Bolívar, a significant public square in the nation’s capital, Bogota.
The core of the controversy revolves around the government’s spending decisions. Critics argue that public funds should be used more judiciously and in a manner that benefits the broader public. The allocation of a significant sum for a specific event, such as the Petro reforms, is perceived as serving the government’s interests rather than those of the general public.
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