ColombiaOne.comColombia newsOusted Ex Chief of Staff Returns to Petro's Government

Ousted Ex Chief of Staff Returns to Petro’s Government


Laura Sarabia cabinet
Laura Sarabia will return to Gustavo Petro’s cabinet with a new position – Credit: Presidency / CC BY-SA 4.0

Laura Sarabia, the former chief of staff to Gustavo Petro, is returning to the government, this time as the director of the Department of Social Prosperity (DPS). Sarabia had to leave her position as the right hand of the Colombian president three months ago after it was announced that someone had been illegally wiretapping two of her former employees. She was also accused of the improper and abusive use of polygraphs in a hiring process.

Regarding the wiretapping case, four police officers suspected of being involved were recently arrested. The investigation into the use of the polygraph is still ongoing.

Some time later, threatening messages were received by Sarabia in an exchange with Armando Benedetti, in which the Barranquilla politician insinuated irregularities in the presidential campaign that he would make public if he didn’t receive personal pre-sales. For these actions, Benedetti is under investigation by the Supreme Court of Justice.

The Return of a Loyal Aide

It is rumored in political circles that the closest circle around President Gustavo Petro consists of a very specific and small group of people. They are his most trusted and loyal colleagues, and among them is 29-year-old Laura Sarabia. This young woman appears to be one of the closest to the president. Forced to resign from her position, she is now returning to the forefront of Colombian politics.

The scandals that forced her to resign are still being clarified. On the one hand, there was the improper use of polygraphs and the wiretapping of third parties to two former personal employees, and on the more serious side, the audios that were made public of conversations with Armando Benedetti in which he openly talked about corruption in President Petro’s campaign and money obtained fraudulently.

“With so much dirt that I know, we all screw ourselves,” the coastal politician said in a threatening tone.

Now, Sarabia’s return represents a show of support for Gustavo Petro’s inner circle, which is regaining one of its most prominent members.

Director of the Department of Social Prosperity

Sarabia will be the new director of the Department of Social Prosperity (DPS). In this role, she will be responsible for directing an organization that aims to establish policies, general plans, programs, and projects for the assistance, care, and restoration of victims of violence, social inclusion and care for vulnerable groups, and their social and economic reintegration.

Sarabia is taking over from Cielo Rusinque, who was actually going to take over Sarabia’s former position as chief of staff. However, Rusinque was unexpectedly excluded from the government at the last minute for leaking her new appointment before it was officially announced.

“I want to thank President Gustavo Petro for his vote of confidence. I won’t be in the government for now. If someone knows and has the authority to decide who accompanies him and where, it is him. There are no power struggles in Casa de Nariño; the daily struggle there is for the good of Colombia,” Rusinque wrote on her social media.

New Responsibilities for Sarabia

In her role as director of the DPS, Sarabia will be responsible for organizing and ensuring the efficiency of the Income for Citizenship, Colombia Mayor, and Youth in Action programs.

These new responsibilities for the former chief of staff should not affect the ongoing investigation against her for the abusive use of polygraphs. In this regard, Sarabia is scheduled for questioning on September 5. Charges against Laura Sarabia would be tried by the Supreme Court of Justice because she is protected by her political position.

Laura Sarabia cabinet
Laura Sarabia was included by Forbes magazine among the most powerful women of 2023 – Credit: Twitter/@laurisarabia

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