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Colombia Finance Ministry Denies Claims of ‘Labor Massacre’

(Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s Finance Ministry pushed back against claims that ideological differences had led to the departure of 158 people since President Gustavo Petro took office.

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The workers all resigned “voluntarily,” without administrative actions taken against them, the ministry said in a statement posted on social media platform X. The situation shows a “generational handover,” as many of the staff members that left did so after reaching retirement age, the ministry added.

The statement was issued after Senator Paloma Valencia published a document showing 158 employees had left almost 70 departments in the Finance Ministry, claiming the situation constituted “a labor massacre.” The ministry has about 800 total positions. About one-fifth of those who departed had experience of two decades or more.

Bloomberg reported this week that Petro has been pushing out technocrats in favor of loyalists, stripping his government of institutional knowledge and capacity amid a government distrust of officials that have worked in previous administrations. In addition to the Finance Ministry departures, Bloomberg detailed an exodus of workers in the trade and health ministries.

Read More: Petro Fires Droves of Investor-Friendly Technocrats in Colombia

--With assistance from Oscar Medina.

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