Colombia expels Argentine diplomats after Milei calls Petro ‘terrorist assassin’

The Colombian foreign ministry said Milei’s comments ‘deteriorated the trust’ of the country

Colombia ordered the expulsion of Argentine diplomats from their embassy after President Javier Milei described his Colombian counterpart as a “terrorist assassin” in a CNN Español interview. The communiqué announcing the move on Wednesday night did not specify whether this would expel the Argentine ambassador from Bogotá.

“The Argentine president’s comments have deteriorated the trust of our nation, in addition to offending the dignity of President Petro, who was democratically elected,” the Colombian foreign ministry said in a statement announcing the decision published on Wednesday night.

The CNN interview will be published in full on Sunday but excerpts have already been made public. “You can’t expect much from someone who used to be a terrorist assassin,” Milei said about Petro.

Milei also criticized Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, calling him “ignorant.”

Citing “denigrating” comments against Petro, the Colombian foreign ministry said they were expelling diplomats from the embassy. However, they did not clarify if this included Argentine ambassador to Colombia Gustavo Dzugala.

“The government of Colombia orders diplomats in the Argentine embassy in Colombia to be expelled,” the text reads.

“This is not the first time Mr. Milei offends the Colombian president, affecting historic fraternal ties between Colombia and Argentina,” the statement added.

In January, Colombia temporarily recalled its ambassador to Argentina, Camilo Romero, after Milei called Petro a “murderous communist that is sinking Colombia.” Romero has been in Colombia since then but remains in his position.

On Wednesday afternoon, a text allegedly sent by the Colombian government saying Petro was permanently recalling Romero and expelling Dzugala circulated on WhatsApp. When consulted by the Herald, Argentina’s Foreign Ministry could not confirm the validity of the message before the Colombian foreign ministry published the official statement later that evening.

“It is clear that every time Milei is asked a question about Petro, he will answer with insults,” Romero wrote on X an hour before Colombia’s foreign ministry published its statement. He warned that, while on prior occasions Petro decided to ignore him, he would now be taking measures.

Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president, is a former member of the long-demobilized M-19 guerrilla movement.

In August, during the presidential campaign in Argentina, Milei wrote on X about Petro: “What is a socialist, deep down? Garbage, human excrement.”

Colombia is a very important country for Argentina in terms of trade: it’s the second-biggest importer of Argentine cars after Brazil and several large Argentine companies are headquartered there. Diplomatic relations are also key to bilateral cooperation to combat organized crime and drug trafficking, a growing problem in Argentina.


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