On Wednesday, Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero initiated a «democratic resistance» to Attorney General Margarita Cabello’s decision to suspend him from office for his alleged political campaigning in favor of leftist presidential candidate Gustavo Petro.
Colombians gathered in La Alpujarra Square with flags and harangues in support of Quitero, who went out to the terrace of the Mayor’s Office to tell citizens that he will fight to stay in office and urged people to defend their political rights through peaceful resistance.
«A democratic Medellin is not going to allow a coup d’état orchestrated by the Attorney General Cabello and President Ivan Duque,» Quintero told citizens who remained under a heavy downpour.
«Since they did not want us in the Mayor’s Office, they will have us in the streets. We’ll defend the future that Colombia deserves block by block. We are going to fight for the democracy they want to take away from us. And I tell them once and for all: we are going to win, I swear it,» he stressed.
Previously, Attorney General Cabello temporarily suspended the mayors of Medellin and Ibague, as well as two councilors from other municipalities, to investigate them for their alleged involvement in politics.
Just three weeks out from Colombia’s elections, the Gulf Clan, the country’s biggest drug cartel, forced a lockdown in around a quarter of the country as retaliation after leader «Otoniel» was extradited to the US. The cartel is descended from right-wing paramilitaries pic.twitter.com/61Bx4pPAZd
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May 12, 2022
Quintero denounced that the Attorney General’s Office violated due process because he did not receive notification or have an opportunity to defend himself. He compared the moment to what happened 10 years ago when the Attorney General’s Office also removed Petro from Bogota Mayor’s Office.
«History sometimes seems to repeat itself… In a square similar to this one, under the capital city’s rain and cold, thousands of young people went out to defend democracy when a fascist prosecutor wanted to irregularly remove Gustavo Petro. Still I remember the cold in my hands and my heart on fire,» said the Mayor of Medellin.
Quintero also rejected the appointment of the High Commissioner for Peace, Juan Restrepo, as mayor in charge and denounced that his appointment aims to «break» the city’s institutions.
«This is just beginning. If they think they are going to stop us, they are wrong,» Quintero said, referring to the Colombian right, amid applause and shouts of support.