Petro’s squire and newly appointed Minister of Education

Petro’s squire and newly appointed Minister of Education
Petro’s squire and newly appointed Minister of Education

There are entities in the Colombian Government that are not ministries, but are equally or even more important. One of them is the Sociedad de Activos Especiales (SAE), entity responsible for managing assets seized through asset forfeiture for illegal activities and belonging to the mafia.

To lead the SAE, the then newly appointed President Petro appointed Daniel Rojas Medellin, A young economist who was the program manager of the current president’s presidential campaign. Rojas, considered a “purebred Petrist,” is one of the people who surrounds Petro’s circle of trust, even more so than several ministers.

These are people who have worked with the president in the past and who are tasked with leading key entities in the government. In addition to Rojas in the SAE, for example, there are Augusto Rodríguez in the National Protection Unit (UNP) and Carlos Ramón González in the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI). These are strategic positions because they involve sensitive issues such as state intelligence, security schemes and the seizure of mafia assets.

In context: Daniel Rojas, the new Minister of Education, has been ordered to be arrested for 10 days for contempt

But, What is Daniel Rojas’ assessment of the SAE?

During Rojas’s administration at the SAE, the delivery of assets that belonged to the mafia to community mothers, victims’ groups and foundations to strengthen these projects was highlighted.

On the other hand, he was temporarily suspended by the Attorney General’s Office while the transfer of 82.16% of the shares of the company Triple A – a public services company – to the company K-yena as part of a sales contract was investigated.

Fiscal findings of the Comptroller’s Office

However, there are questions about his management. The Comptroller’s Office found that some failures in the management of the SAE until December 2023 generated fiscal findings worth more than 28 billion pesos.

“During the audit conducted by the Comptroller’s Office delegated to the Justice Sector, irregular handling of assets that were under the custody of the SAE was revealed. Some of those assets simply disappeared, exposing the nation to multimillion-dollar lawsuits.“, the entity explained.

“As regards the main headquarters of the SAE, the subscription and the payment of the lease contract in which the value was increased and the number of square meters without sufficient justification, which is why an alleged loss of assets worth $2,465,346,670 was determined,” the Comptroller’s Office added.

There were also cases of other alleged irregularities, such as payments for public services without identifying the properties to which they were directed, non-payment of building administration fees, and lack of insurance policies.

Read also: Who is Daniel Rojas Medellín, the director of SAE who will now be Minister of Education?

Who is Daniel Rojas Medellin?

“The new Minister of Education will be Daniel Rojas, replacing Aurora Vergara, whom I thank for her work and dedication”said President Petro in a brief message published on his social networks.

Daniel Rojas is one of the officials most aligned with the president’s thinking. Last February he assumed –under assignment– the direction of the National Planning Department after the resignation of the then director of that entity, Jorge Iván González.

The new Minister of Education is an economist from the University of Santo Tomás and is a Master’s student in Economic Sciences from the National University of ColombiaHis resume highlights experience in research, implementation of public policies and monitoring of macroeconomic policies.

Read more: Not so polite: tweets loaded with insults and rudeness from the new Minister of Education, Daniel Rojas, were dusted off

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