Gustavo Petro expelled the Argentine ambassador to Colombia after Milei called him a 'terrorist murderer'

The diplomatic exchange broke out on Wednesday afternoon and put relations between both countries in "check."

Diplomatic tensions broke out in Latin America. Gustavo Petro, president of Colombia, withdrew his ambassador to Argentina and expelled Javier Milei's representative from Colombian soil after the Argentine described his counterpart as a "terrorist murderer." Argentine media says the situation leaves bilateral relations between the two countries "in check."

The Argentine president spoke with journalist Andrés Oppenheimer for CNN in an interview that will be published in full format next Sunday, March 31. However, some fragments have already emerged, and a reference to Petro stands out among them.

When asked about his relationship with the Colombian president, Milei responded the following: "You can't expect much from someone who was a terrorist murderer."

Petro ordered the Colombian ambassador to Argentina, Camilo Romero, to withdraw from the country in response. He also expelled the Argentine government envoy in Bogotá, Gustavo Dzugala.

"Sources in Argentina confirmed to Infobae that the decision has been made and that it will be a matter of formalism for it to become official," they reported from Infobae.

"A decision that puts in 'check' the bilateral relations between the two countries, which are going through their worst moment due to the deep differences between the two leaders, protagonists of controversies that have transcended the personal level," they added.

"The expressions of the Argentine president have damaged the confidence of our nation"

The Colombian Foreign Ministry released a statement in response to Milei's statements, in which it condemned the Argentine's "denigrating" expressions toward Petro and recalled that "it is not the first time that Mr. Milei offends the Colombian president, affecting the historic relations of brotherhood between Colombia and Argentina."

"The Argentine president's expressions have deteriorated the trust of our nation, besides offending the dignity of President Petro, who was democratically elected. In this context, the Government of Colombia orders the expulsion of diplomats from the Argentine embassy in Colombia. The scope of this decision will be communicated to the Argentine Embassy through diplomatic institutional channels," they stated.

Milei vs. Petro

This latest incident is another chapter in the novel between both leaders, divided mainly by their ideologies. For example, the Colombian president regretted the Argentine's election in December 2023. Petro wrote on X that it was a "sad result for Latin America," given that "neoliberalism no longer has a proposal for society, it cannot respond to current problems of humanity."

In January 2024, Milei disqualified Petro publicly disqualified his Colombian counterpart, calling him a "murderous communist who is sinking Colombia," in dialogue with journalist Ángela Patricia Janiot.