In the last few hours, the former Minister of Health, Fernando Carrilloclarified by means of a letter his annoyance after the Government withdraw its support for this to be director of the Pan American Health Organization. In this way, he indicated: “I regret that the Government has withdrawn support in my name for the direction of PAHO, but it hurts more than Colombia after 120 years and with all the recognition in its public health history, it does not have the possibility of direct it. It was almost a right of the country.”
Among other facts, the Colombian Government will not be able to give its support to any other candidate, since the maximum term to present another person was until May 30, when former Minister Ruiz presented himself. The former official was informed by the deputy minister of multilateral affairs of that candidacy.
In addition, the former minister clarified that this was a unique opportunity, since this would have been the first time that Colombia would have a representative as director of PAHO. Likewise, he stressed that in this way, in at least 10 years, Colombia will not have such an opportunity. After the publication of the letter, the former official spoke on 6AM Hoy por Hoy on the subject.
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The former minister stressed that knowing that he will no longer receive government support is a strong blow for him. “The truth is that we have been in the campaign for three months or more. Some very important support had really been received. Obviously, it is a disappointment in a situation like this.”
Similarly, he clarified that he regrets that the country misses this opportunity. “The feeling also that Colombia has not achieved this position is a bit sad. PAHO was founded 120 years ago and is the highest health body in the Americas and Colombia has never held the leadership, I think this was a relevant opportunity, because Colombia has had an important history in public health and I think it deserved the direction.”
On the other hand, he commented on how he found out about this news. “Last Tuesday I had a call and I had had an initial communication with the chancellor and then two letters were sent, because we couldn’t sit down to talk about the candidacy. Then in a call they told me that the support had been withdrawn.”
Likewise, he affirmed that he is not certain about the reason why the Government withdrew its support. “I think that the management of the pandemic defends itself, and for that reason I have always chosen to give the government and, especially, the new ministry to make its decisions regarding the system and the sector.”
Ruíz stated that the country would most certainly have been chosen. “Colombia misses an important opportunity. The countries that are already candidates, such as Brazil and Mexico, have already had the opportunity to lead PAHO. Colombia was the country that followed due to its importance in health issues and the country deserved this charge for your public health.
Finally, the former minister said that after this government decision, he will have the opportunity to focus on other issues and start new projects, “because there is still much to do.”