Daniel Quintero has decided to resign from the Mayor's Office of Medellín three months before the end of his constitutional term. The politician of the Independents movement, who has several complaints in the Attorney General's Office, explained that he leaves his position to campaign for candidate Juan Carlos Upegui, who is second in the polls behind Federico Gutiérrez. The announcement was made in the early hours of Sunday through his social networks. "The reasons that led me to be mayor are the same ones that today lead me to make the decision to resign from office," he said in a video posted on Twitter. Quintero insisted that he is resigning because he cannot "sit idly by and see how the usual politicians, through Fico, who was previously an alternative person, are using all the tricks to return to power."
The mayor of Colombia's second-largest city said he will be "one more soldier" of the campaign of Upegui, former secretary of nonviolence in his administration and cousin of his wife Diana Osorio. "Upegui is the only alternative to be able to face Fico-Uribismo, I strip myself of the investiture of mayor to go out and fight. My weapons will be god and these flyers," Quintero said in a video that has been viewed by more than 120,000 people. The official announcement will be made this Sunday at 9 am at the Acevedo Station of the Medellín metro.
Thank God, Medellín and my family for allowing me to be their Mayor. Our project needs to be defended. Upegui is the only alternative to confront Fico, Uribe and the politicians who want to take over Medellín. I'll wait for you today at Acevedo Station at 9AM. pic.twitter.com/E6otg9eNe7
— Daniel Quintero Calle (@QuinteroCalle) October 1, 2023
In addition to supporting Upegui, the former mayor will also work to boost the more than 2,500 candidates endorsed by his Independents movement, including Deninson Mendoza for the Mayor of Cali, David Fajardo for the Mayor of Cúcuta and José Luis Osorio for the Mayor of Cartagena.
The National Government issued a decree this Saturday at 11 pm in which it accepts the irrevocable resignation of Quintero. Decree 1609 of September 30, 2023, signed by the Minister of the Interior, Luis Fernando Velasco, designates Óscar de Jesús Hurtado Pérez, who until today was Secretary of Government, as mayor in charge of Medellín. Now it is up to President Gustavo Petro to present a shortlist to choose Quintero's replacement.
The premature departure of Daniel Quintero was rumored for days, but gained strength after the president had a strong argument with an opposition councilor. Quintero publicly insulted him after filing before the council the draft agreement to dilute EPM's participation in Tigo-UNE. The Attorney General's Office opened an investigation into these events. The watchdog is also investigating him for alleged political involvement in the 2022 election.
In May of last year, in the final stretch for the first round of the presidential campaign, Attorney General Margarita Cabello decided to provisionally suspend Quintero for his support in a social media video in favor of Gustavo Petro, without mentioning his name. Although in Colombia public officials are prohibited from participating in electoral politics, Quintero considered the measure a "dictatorial act" and defended that it did not refer to the campaign. "The change in first," said Quintero, at the wheel of a truck while moving the lever of the vehicle, in the famous video that he spread on Twitter – now X. The same Attorney General's Office ordered his restitution in June, once the presidential elections concluded, with Petro as president-elect.
In addition to the problems with the Attorney General's Office, former Mayor Quintero had at the time of leaving office the lowest popularity in almost 30 years of measurement of the Invamer survey. According to the latest poll, the president's approval was at 28%, while disapproval was 61.9%. 66% of citizens felt that things in the city were getting worse.
The lawyer and academic Ramiro Bejarano expressed his disagreement with Quintero's decision: "Huge vacuum of law by not prohibiting that in the middle of the campaign a mayor resigns from his position to support the candidate of his preference, using his influence in the administration. If the law does not prevent it, at least public ethics should thwart that assault on decency."
Huge loophole in not prohibiting a mayor from resigning from his position in the middle of the campaign to support the candidate of his choice, using his influence in the administration. If the law does not prevent it, at least public ethics should thwart this assault on decency.
— Ramiro Bejarano G (@RamiroBejaranoG) October 1, 2023
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