Suarez new Environment minister as Rodriguez quits

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Friday, November 14, 2003

Colombia has a new minister of environment, housing and territorial development following the resignation Tuesday of Cecilia Rodriguez Gonzalez-Rubio after 15 months in the post.

Sandra Suarez, 34, her replacement, is the director of Plan Colombia, a former director of marketing at cellular telephone firm Occel, and was part of president Uribe's campaign team.

In her first comments about her new job, Suarez highlighted bringing potable water to millions of Colombians and the intensification of housing programs as priorities, El Tiempo reported.

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Rodriguez' resignation follows those of the interior and justice minister Fernando Londono and defence minister Marta Lucia Ramirez in what has been labeled a ministerial crises, according to the newspaper.

The ministry of environment, housing and territorial development was created in February this year by the fusion of the environment and economic development ministries.