Energy Minister resigns


Colombia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Tomás González Estrada, has resigned his portfolio. He has been replaced by María Lorena Gutiérrez.

Colombia has been suffering from a drought and a fire at the Guatape hydroelectric plant in the province of Antioquia in February has helped to create a crisis in energy supplies. Around 70% of Colombia’s energy comes from hydroelectric power. The government has been forced to call on citizens to save electricity by as much as eleven percent and is considering fining businesses and householders who use more than the average.

Although President Santos announced the minister’s resignation because of his apparent failure to make energy savings, the General Attorney’s Office has also opened a formal disciplinary investigation against González for holding several contracts with the firm Connecta. Connecta was founded by González and other family members in 2009.

María Lorena Gutiérrez (47) is an industrial engineer and specialist in finance with a degree from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. She has an MBA from the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University (United States) and a Ph.D. in administration from the same school. She has served in several academic posts and business associations. Under President Santos she has been High Presidential Advisor for Governance and later Minister of the Presidency.

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