Vélez Rodríguez, the Colombian who did not fit in the Cabinet of Bolsonaro

Vélez Rodríguez, the Colombian who did not fit in the Cabinet of Bolsonaro

The Colombian philosopher and professor Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, 75, who headed the Education portfolio in Brazil, did not reach 100 days in the government of Jair Bolsonaro, who "gave him the leave" on Monday after a controversial series for its management in the ministry.

Vélez Rodríguez, a Brazilian national and whose management was involved in multiple controversies that led to the resignation of three deputy ministers leading to internal disputes within the Education portfolio, was removed from office by the far right, who had announced since last week that the Minister's situation would be defined this Monday.

Since taking over the reins of the Ministry of Education last January, disputes within that ministry caused the dismissal of about a dozen high-level officials and the paralysis of the ministry, which has one of the largest budgets within the ministry. Executive.

Despite the announcement on Friday that President Bolsonaro hinted at the retirement of the minister of the position, Vélez Rodríguez, a native of Bogotá, of radical thinking and who does not give his arm to twist easily, assured that he would not hand over the office.

In addition to the controversies over the minister's internal management, his statements also caused a stir in Brazil.

The most recent was given by a mention made by the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, one of the most bloodthirsty characters in his native country, whom he gave as an example of behavior so that young people would not use drugs in school.

"Pablo Escobar had reserved soccer fields for young people and a small library, so the youths did not use cocaine because this product was export-oriented," the minister said during an intervention during a public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies. .

The Colombian academic, who took up residence in Brazil in 1979 and years later obtained nationalization, joined the Cabinet of Bolsonaro on the recommendation of the ultraconservative guru Olavo de Carvalho, one of Bolsonaro's mentors.

Among his projects in the education portfolio were drastic changes in the education system, which he considered "framed in the Marxist ideology" and "alien" to the life of the people for being "tuned" with an "indoctrinated and scientifically oriented" "

The reform of school textbooks so that children could "have the true" and "real" idea of ​​the coup d'état of 1964 and of the military dictatorship that was established later until 1985, was one of the ideas promoted by the minister, a anti-communist declared and enemy of the politically correct.

Vélez Rodríguez graduated in philosophy from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Colombia in 1963, studied a master's degree in Brazilian Thought at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, a PhD in Luso-Brazilian Thought at the Gama Filho University and then carried out research in the Raymond Aron Center in Paris.

Before arriving at the Government of Bolsonaro, the Colombian philosopher was working as professor emeritus of the School of Command and General Staff of the Brazilian Army.

María Angélica Troncoso


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