Colombia’s Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo dies from COVID-19 complications at the age of 69.
“It is with deep sorrow and sadness that I have received the news of the death of our minister of defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo,” said the country’s president in a video statement.
Trujillo had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Jan. 12, after which his health deteriorated. He was hospitalized in the Military Hospital in Bogota, where he remained in an intensive care unit.
“I cannot express the pain I have,” said Duque. “Carlos Holmes was my friend, my partner in battle, my co-worker and my minister.”
Before becoming minister of defense, Trujillo was foreign minister in Duque´s government. He had expressed his interest in running for president in the 2022 elections.
One of Trujillo’s closest political allies, Former President Alvaro Uribe, said the news of Trujillo’s death “breaks my soul.”
However, vaccination still hasn’t begun in the country of about 50 million people, which has recorded more than 50,000 deaths from the deadly pandemic and more than 2 million cases.
Moreover, as defense minister, Trujillo led the country’s efforts to tackle cocaine production, which witnessed a rapid growth since 2013 but stabilized the last two years.
Carlos Holmes Trujillo also campaigned for Colombia to resume aerial fumigation of coca crops.