The controversial ICBF director Concepción Barcaldo, a friend of Verónica Alcocer, resigned

Gustavo Petro accepted the resignation of the director of the ICBF. Photo via: ICBF

President Gustavo Petro announced through their social networks the resignation from the director of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF), Conception Barakaldo. His position will be held by Astrid Caceres, a professional in pedagogy and social sciences.

“I have accepted the resignation of the director of @ICBFColombia. Astrid Cáceres, a professional in pedagogy and social sciences with a master’s degree in education and community development, will assume her position ”said the president on his official Twitter account.

It should be noted that the appointment of Concepción Baracaldo at the head of the entity generated controversy in the country, when he confessed on December 20 at 6 AM de Snail Radio that the wife of the president and first lady, Verónica Alcocer, offered him the position in a call and he gave him one day to know his answer.

In an interview with Vanessa de la Torre, Baracaldo acknowledged that he has not got experience in handling childhood issues, but which has more than 38 years of presence in the public function and management of institutions. He also stated that he knew Gustavo Petro since high school in zipaquirá and that she is a neighbor of the presidential family.

President Gustavo Petro accepted the resignation of the director of the ICBF.  Twitter @petrogustavo
President Gustavo Petro accepted the resignation of the director of the ICBF. Twitter @petrogustavo

“We know each other. We are neighbors. I’ve known her for a long time, and I know Gustavo because we both studied in Zipaquirá and I’ve known him since we were in high school.” stated Concpecion

She was the deputy director of the Institute since Monday, January 30. She has worked as a teacher, researcher, pedagogical advisor, expert in inclusive education, project officer, cultural manager, and peace weaver.

From the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, Cáceres has accompanied President Petro on children’s issues. Even Astrid currently exercises the commission that the president himself ordered to address the situation in San José del Guaviare, where dozens of minors have been abused by civilians and soldiers.

The new director has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the Cooperative University of Colombia, a Master’s degree in Education and Community Development from the Surcolombiana University, and has a master’s degree in Political Studies from the National University of Colombia.

With more than 27 years of professional experience, the new deputy director general has held various positions in the public and private sectors; she has been deputy director of Quality for Early Childhood of the Ministry of National Education, consultant to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), contractor at the Colombia in Peace Fund for the pilot project of the Child Development service in Family Environments in rural and rural dispersed in PDET municipalities, advisor at the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), deputy director for Children at the District Secretariat for Social Integration of Bogotá, teacher at the National Pedagogical University (UPN) and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

The Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) faces a new controversy over its management after reports of sexual exploitation and abuse against indigenous children and adolescents in Guaviare became known. On Wednesday, January 18, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, David Racero, announced that they summoned the director of the entity, Concepción Baracaldo, to a debate on political control to render accounts before the Legislature.

The situation became known after the journalist Gerardo Reyes, who works for Univisión, denounced that minors from indigenous communities were being induced to have sexual relations with the military —Colombian and United States— or civilians in exchange for food, small amounts of money, or drugs that would help them ward off hunger.

As an example, Reyes gave the testimony of a 15-year-old adolescent who was raped multiple times by the military in 2019 inside a public bathroom in San José del Guaviare for four days, without receiving food. Another of the cases registered that same year was that of a minor under 10 years of age who was raped by a United States military officer and then forced to give birth, but she was unable to exercise her motherhood because she did not understand or assimilate the process for your age.

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