President Cortizo said Sunday that the surprise removal of Rosario Turner as Minister of Health was due to the "wear and tear" of her office, but communicated that the doctor will continue to "help" her government, through advice from the Ministry of Social Development (Mides).
Cortizo’s handling of the coronavirus crisis is facing growing criticism and social media comments gave hinted that she was removed after refusing to approve the entry of a private humanitarian flight carrying the fugitive sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli. Her successor signed the approval, but in vain as the sons arrested in Guatemala as they were about to board their father’s private jet. They are behind bars awaiting an extradition hearing following an FBI inspired request to face money laundering hearings.
On the Telemetro Face to Face program on Sunday the president said of Turner “The wear is enormous. So, at that moment, I decided that I preferred to incorporate her in other tasks.
Turner was a minister until June 24. She was replaced, without prior notice, by her deputy minister, Luis Francisco Sucre. That day, she was in the National Assembly Budget Committee, supporting transfers of items for $ 20.4 million, to deal with issues and purchases related to the coronavirus, and to pay back wages to health personnel.
During her appearance, several deputies congratulated the then minister for her role fighting the pandemic and, with few questions, authorized the departure transfers.
When she left the Assembly, Turner received the call from the Presidency. The secretary-general of the PRD, Pedro Miguel González, said that she was fired, without prior notice.
Surprised with her dismissal, that same night she vacated her office and left it ready for the arrival of Sucre.
She was not even invited to join the Advisory Health Council which contains three other former health ministers and now advises the president.
Cortizo insists that Turner "has earned leadership, she is a great person." And now will be advising Mides on issues "related to early childhood and hostels in the country."