Quintero’s wasp operation to get into the Chamber of Commerce

The election of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín is enough to rent a balcony. On one side are the businessmen who traditionally in Medellín have participated in the elections to choose their leaders and on the other side is the combo of mayor Daniel Quintero.

This group, without much business experience, wants to keep a good slice of an institution through which the city’s businessmen have dedicated themselves for 117 years to working for the economic development of the region.

With less than a week left — the elections begin next Thursday — a wasp operation strategy has been identified with which the local president or people from his close circle are trying to put some relatives among the 12 board members.

Already Mayor Quintero, this Monday, made it clear that they expected the National Government, among the four members to whom it is entitled on the board, to put Alejandro Arias, his former Secretary of Economic Development.

The mayor also publicly asked to vote for List 3, which is that of the merchants of the Center and of the so-called Hueco, in particular. After the mayor’s words, most of the members of this list (except Jaime Baena) in a public statement indicated that they were renouncing to be candidates and tried to distance themselves from Quintero saying: “We are NOT part of any political sector and we are not going to participate in any controversy that affects the name of any of the businessmen of the city”.

However, until yesterday the names of all of them continued to appear on the sheet and their resignations have not been officially registered.

Tokens in two lists

But now a new battlefront has begun to emerge. Alejandro Arias, who resigned from the Mayor’s office on October 10 to dedicate himself to the strategy of taking over the Chamber, is making efforts in favor of two lists, at least that’s how businessmen involved in the electoral process expressed it.

The funny thing is that they are a kind of wasp operation that they applied to the Fenalco list and the Acopi list. These two sectors that historically had presented themselves with only one list each, now some businessmen set up a separate ranch and fractured them with the aim of winning a seat on the board.

These are lists numbers 2 and 6, it should be noted that there are seven lists in total. List 2 is a ‘dissidence’ from Fenalco’s official list, which is 5, and list 6 would be a derivation from Acopi’s official list, which is 7.

Plate 2, one of those supported by Quintero’s team, is headed by Grupo Cometa, a communications and events firm, which has signed 60 contracts with the Medellín Mayor’s Office (see box). It is striking that all these contracts were obtained between 2020 and 2022, that is, in the Quintero mayor’s office, and in previous years they had contracts with other mayors such as Itagüí and Caldas.

Of course it is legitimate for any company to be a State contractor, however, what does not seem appropriate is that Alejandro Arias, until recently a high-ranking official of the Mayor’s Office, is campaigning with the Municipality’s contractor companies.

As for list 6, as already mentioned, it would be the dissent from the traditional Acopi list, which is number 7. It should be remembered that Gabriel Jaime Rico, who was in the close circle of Daniel Quintero’s mayoral campaign, was appointed in September 2020 as manager of Acopi in Antioquia.

This list 6 is headed by Oxivitales, which between 2020 and 2022 has seven contracts for a total of $19,000 million. And curiously, from 2020 to 2022 each year contracts have been signed between the Metropolitan Area of ​​the Aburrá Valley and Acopi, for more than $16,000 million.

So then, the mayor announced his support for list 3, but his teammate, former secretary Alejandro Arias, is supporting list 2 and 6.

Lucía González, former Truth Commissioner and former director of the Museum of Memory, set off the alarm in a letter she published last week. “We are facing a criminal project that wages a war based on deceit for the rents of the city,” she wrote González. And she added: “They also come for EPM, for the Metro, for the Chamber of Commerce, for the entities from which they can obtain economic benefit.”

It remains to be seen if the wasp operation gives them results. Meanwhile, today, Friday, they are waiting in Medellín for the presidential adviser for the regions, Luis Fernando Velasco, who has been in contact with merchants from the Center and has an agenda with businessmen from the city. Consulted by this newspaper, he said that he was not aware of the Chamber of Commerce elections.

The election of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín is enough to rent a balcony. On one side are the businessmen who traditionally in Medellín have participated in the elections to choose their leaders and on the other side is the combo of mayor Daniel Quintero.

This group, without much business experience, wants to keep a good slice of an institution through which the city’s businessmen have dedicated themselves for 117 years to working for the economic development of the region.

With less than a week left — the elections begin next Thursday — a wasp operation strategy has been identified with which the local president or people from his close circle are trying to put some relatives among the 12 board members.

Already Mayor Quintero, this Monday, made it clear that they expected the National Government, among the four members to whom it is entitled on the board, to put Alejandro Arias, his former Secretary of Economic Development.

The mayor also publicly asked to vote for List 3, which is that of the merchants of the Center and of the so-called Hueco, in particular. After the mayor’s words, most of the members of this list (except Jaime Baena) in a public statement indicated that they were renouncing to be candidates and tried to distance themselves from Quintero saying: “We are NOT part of any political sector and we are not going to participate in any controversy that affects the name of any of the businessmen of the city”.

However, until yesterday the names of all of them continued to appear on the sheet and their resignations have not been officially registered.

Tokens in two lists

But now a new battlefront has begun to emerge. Alejandro Arias, who resigned from the Mayor’s office on October 10 to dedicate himself to the strategy of taking over the Chamber, is making efforts in favor of two lists, at least that’s how businessmen involved in the electoral process expressed it.

The funny thing is that they are a kind of wasp operation that they applied to the Fenalco list and the Acopi list. These two sectors that historically had presented themselves with only one list each, now some businessmen set up a separate ranch and fractured them with the aim of winning a seat on the board.

These are lists numbers 2 and 6, it should be noted that there are seven lists in total. List 2 is a ‘dissidence’ from Fenalco’s official list, which is 5, and list 6 would be a derivation from Acopi’s official list, which is 7.

Plate 2, one of those supported by Quintero’s team, is headed by Grupo Cometa, a communications and events firm, which has signed 60 contracts with the Medellín Mayor’s Office (see box). It is striking that all these contracts were obtained between 2020 and 2022, that is, in the Quintero mayor’s office, and in previous years they had contracts with other mayors such as Itagüí and Caldas.

Of course it is legitimate for any company to be a State contractor, however, what does not seem appropriate is that Alejandro Arias, until recently a high-ranking official of the Mayor’s Office, is campaigning with the Municipality’s contractor companies.

As for list 6, as already mentioned, it would be the dissent from the traditional Acopi list, which is number 7. It should be remembered that Gabriel Jaime Rico, who was in the close circle of Daniel Quintero’s mayoral campaign, was appointed in September 2020 as manager of Acopi in Antioquia.

This list 6 is headed by Oxivitales, which between 2020 and 2022 has seven contracts for a total of $19,000 million. And curiously, from 2020 to 2022 each year contracts have been signed between the Metropolitan Area of ​​the Aburrá Valley and Acopi, for more than $16,000 million.

So then, the mayor announced his support for list 3, but his teammate, former secretary Alejandro Arias, is supporting list 2 and 6.

Lucía González, former Truth Commissioner and former director of the Museum of Memory, set off the alarm in a letter she published last week. “We are facing a criminal project that wages a war based on deceit for the rents of the city,” she wrote González. And she added: “They also come for EPM, for the Metro, for the Chamber of Commerce, for the entities from which they can obtain economic benefit.”

It remains to be seen if the wasp operation gives them results. Meanwhile, today, Friday, they are waiting in Medellín for the presidential adviser for the regions, Luis Fernando Velasco, who has been in contact with merchants from the Center and has an agenda with businessmen from the city. Consulted by this newspaper, he said that he was not aware of the Chamber of Commerce elections.

List 2, large contractor for the mayor’s office

Heading list 2 is Grupo Cometa, a company that was born in 2009 and that in its portfolio offers logistics operation of events, communications and media, marketing, training, research and editorial services, whose legal representation falls to José Alexander Cossio Gil y Luz Miriam Mejia Montoya. Between 2020 and 2022, it has signed 60 contracts worth close to $13,000 million, 57 of them with Metroparques and 7 with Telemedellín. With this last channel for advertising payment of a Facebook page called 24HN, a news portal that had already been questioned in September 2021, when a document issued from the Telemedellín Media Center was leaked towards the Secretariat of Communications because substantial resources were being assigned to it despite its dubious scope and quality of content.

The company Col Comercializadora SAS also appears on this same list, which in 2021 signed a contract with the Concejo de Medellín Children’s Hospital. In this case, it is striking that its current legal representative, Santiago Tobón López, has also been the legal representative of Tecnología de la Información y Pago Intrago SAS, which on that same list 2 is a substitute for Col Comercializadora SAS.

With Tecnologías, whose legal representative today is Iván Oquendo Valderrama, two contracts have been signed for $2,182 million, in 2021, and for $2,400 million, in 2022, both with the Medellín Secretary of Security. All this information was consulted in Secop 1 and 2 and in the Single Business Registry.

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