ColombiaOne.comColombia newsColombia's High Court Challenges Petro's All-Female Attorney General Candidate List

Colombia’s High Court Challenges Petro’s All-Female Attorney General Candidate List

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President Petro Attorney General gender parity
President Petro asked to review his shortlist of candidates to succeed the Attorney General – Credit: Kybonilla / CC BY-SA 4.0


The High Court of Justice in Colombia has raised concerns about the three-person list presented by President Petro as potential successors to the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa.

A member of the Labor Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, Colombia’s highest ordinary court, has requested a review of the proposed names by the presidency. The concern arises as the list lacks male candidates to replace the controversial Francisco Barbosa, with whom President Gustavo Petro frequently disagrees.

Mechanism for Choosing the Attorney General

The term of Francisco Barbosa ends in February 2024. The mechanism for choosing the person to replace him at the helm of such an important institution is simple: it is within the president’s power to propose a list of three names that he selects himself. Subsequently, it is the Supreme Court of Justice that makes the final selection from the candidates proposed.

The magistrate initiating the process to reconsider the list is Gerardo Botero Zuluaga. Botero, who temporarily served as the president of the Supreme Court in 2019, asserts that a citizen named Belisario Jiménez Duque submitted a legal petition to return the list because gender equality was not respected.

The original list consisted of Amparo Cerón, Amelia Pérez, and Ángela Buitrago, all of whom were women. On September 26, President Petro replaced Amparo Cerón’s name with Luz Adriana Camargo. However, the composition remained entirely female.

Violation of the Constitution

According to Magistrate Botero, this situation contravenes both the Constitution and international laws that champion gender equity and equality.” In the document presented to force the reformulation of the list, Gerardo Botero states that “the right to gender equity and equality cannot be limited solely to women, as its focus seeks to understand and address the differences, inequalities, and gender roles in society.”

The magistrate argues that this diversity of gender roles in society “includes not only women but also men and people of non-binary gender or various gender identities.”

The final decision on the validity of the president’s all-female trio will rest with the Council of State, the supreme court for administrative disputes.

President Petro Attorney General gender parity
The Council of State will decide whether the shortlist presented is valid or should be reformulated – Credit: @consejodeestado / X

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