Controversial Appointment: Ómar Andrés Camacho as Minister of Mines and Energy Raises Doubts

2023-07-25 00:22:55

The departure of Irene Vélez as Minister of Mines and Energy was applauded by some sectors of Colombian politics, not only because of her husband’s contracts with the Government and the alleged influence peddling for which she was singled out, but also because of the controversial statements about oil exploration and exploitation during the months she lasted in office. However, who would replace her is already raising doubts.

Ómar Andrés Camacho Morales, chosen by President Gustavo Petro to serve as head of the Mining and Energy portfolio, has no experience in the hydrocarbons sector, which is why some question what his appointment would be.

Ómar Andrés Camacho would be the new Minister of Mines in the government of Gustavo Petro. | Photo: Courtesy ANH

Doubts also revolve around the comments he has made in recent years on his Twitter account. Ómar Andrés Camacho, for example, has held former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez responsible for massacres perpetrated in 2021, during the term of Iván Duque.

A trill by Ómar Andrés Camacho, compiled by Senator Paloma Valencia, says: “The massacre in Colombia has a clear author, Álvaro Uribe Vélez. He gave the order.” Then he adds: “If something happens to me, you already know who it was.”

The publication dates from October 30, 2021, one day after the start of the national strike in Colombia.

Andrés Camacho also expressed his affinity with Fidel Castro. That was on November 26, 2016, when he wrote: “Fidel, eternal Fidel, you set an example for the continent and the world, your legacy will be impossible to erase. Goodbye Commander.”

Andrés Camacho has also attacked the press, due to the publications about the energy transition proposed by President Gustavo Petro.

On November 22, 2021, before Petro was elected president, he responded to a SEMANA publication with the following trill: “The right-wing paskin generating fear with the Energy Transition proposal. Oil and gas are running out, that is why dependency and scarcity will make them more expensive, not because Petro says so, they are NON-renewable resources and that is why energy transmission is urgent!” (Sic).

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Profile of Andres Camacho Morales

Ómar Andrés Camacho Morales was an advisor to former minister Irene Vélez. | Photo: WILLIAM TORRES

“It is necessary to contract the provision of professional services to support the National Mining Agency in the preparation of diagnosis, modeling and strategies that serve as input for the construction of the fair energy transition roadmap,” reads Camacho’s four-month contract.

Ómar Andrés Camacho would be the new director of the ANH. | Photo: Taken from Visible Congress – Universidad de los Andes

He also made a career in political activism with the Farc party, which is now called Comunes. He was a candidate for the Chamber for Bogotá of the collective. In addition, he is a recognized leader of the Patriotic March and was part of the United Committee We Revoke Peñalosa —in his second Bogota Mayor’s Office.

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