Colombia’s foreign minister resigns amid protests
Colombia’s Foreign Minister has stepped down amid anti-government protests in the country that turned violent.
Claudia Blum did not give a reason for her resignation in a Thursday video message marking the end of her time as foreign minister.
Media reports, however, cited criticism of her crisis management as reason for her action.
Deputy minister Adriana Mejia would be her successor, according to the reports.
Colombia has seen protests for the past two weeks, including some that turned into rioting.
At least 42 people died during the protests and 168 people are missing, according to the latest figures from the national ombudsman’s office.
The demonstrations were initially against a controversial tax reform that has since been withdrawn.
Economy minister Alberto Carrasquilla has already resigned over the issue.
Most of the protesters were focusing on other issues, such as opposing a planned health reform and advocating for the fragile peace process.
The United Nations and the European Union expressed alarm at reports of excessive police violence, which the Colombian Foreign Ministry strongly rejected.
Colombia was the second most populous country in South America, after Brazil, and an important ally to the United States in the region.
A civil war raged in the country for more than 50 years, killing 220,000 people and displacing millions.
In 2016, the Colombian government made peace with the FARC guerilla movement, and the country experienced an economic upswing and a tourism boom.