The frustrated educational reform burned the Ministry of Education and another Petrista pawn arrives: Daniel Rojas

If there is one thing that Gustavo Petro has been known for during his government, it is his trust in his people, especially those who have accompanied him in the past, and that is why he has paid close attention to his campaign team when considering names for high-ranking positions. However, very few have managed to gain a level of trust even similar to that received by economist Daniel Rojas, who has become a staunch supporter of the President to the point of being awarded an entity such as the Ministry of Education.

Rojas first approached Petro a decade ago when he worked in his Mayor’s Office in the Secretariat of Social Integration and since then they have not separated. He was a key player in his 2018 presidential campaign and after the defeat he became part of Gustavo Bolívar’s Legislative Work Unit (UTL), from where he was called back to Petro’s ranks for his new campaign, but this time with a more important role as the programmatic coordinator and, later, coordinator of the handover with the outgoing Iván Duque.

That trust was well rewarded by the President, who decided to put him at the head of an entity as important as the Special Assets Society (SAE), where, among many other things, he has led the delivery of properties seized from the mafia to public universities, something that has been in line with Petro’s directive to support education.

Rojas handing over 5 properties to the Francisco José de Caldas District University, one of the many that have benefited during the Petro government

That management served as a springboard for him to be appointed acting director of the National Planning Department (DNP) in February 2024 after the resignation of Jorge Iván González and, although Alexander López Maya ended up joining this entity, the President and destiny had another course in store for him.

Rojas ended up being the protagonist of Petro’s third ministerial shake-up

Following the departures of the ministers of the Interior, Agriculture, Justice and Transport less than a week ago, the President surprised everyone on the same day with two other adjustments within his cabinet. First, the departure of Catalina Velasco from the Housing portfolio was announced and then it was he himself who announced that Daniel Rojas, his young bishop, will take Aurora Vergara’s place in the Education portfolio.

Vergara took office in February 2023 when she replaced Alejandro Gaviria and since then she has been one of the most talked about Ministers, for which two events have been key, the Statutory Law of Education that ended up burning at the oven door after generating unrest among Fecode teachers and the controversial election of Leopoldo Múnera as rector of the National University in which she was a protagonist.

Although the name of the Vice Minister of Preschool, Basic and Secondary Education, Óscar Sánchez, was mentioned in recent days as a possible successor to Vergara, the reality ended up being different and replacing the man from Tolima will be a Rojas who has no experience in the educational sector.

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