The authorities of Colombia yesterday ordered to leave the country “diplomats of the embassy of Argentina” in Bogotá, after harsh statements of the Argentine president Javier Millay, who described in an interview his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petros as a “murderer” and a “terrorist”.

Because of his statements, “the Colombian government has ordered the expulsion of diplomats from the Argentine embassy in Colombia,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, without specifying either the duties or the number of the delegation’s officials being expelled.

Colombian diplomacy condemned the “CNN interview in which (Javier Millay) spoke in a slanderous way about the Colombian president” Petro.

US media broadcast excerpts of the interview and reproduced President Miley’s comments against President Petro: “We can’t expect anything from someone who was a murderous terrorist,” the Argentine head of state said.

For the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “the expressions of the Argentine president hurt the confidence of our country, as well as the dignity of President Petro, who was democratically elected” in the summer of 2022. The social democrat political veteran is the first Colombian head of state to belong on the left.

The details of the deportations “will be communicated to the Argentine embassy” through the usual “diplomatic channels”, Bogotá added.

Buenos Aires has not reacted so far.

“It is not the first time that Mr. Millay has insulted the Colombian president, damaging the historic relations of brotherhood” of the two states, reminded the Colombian Foreign Ministry.

Relations between Bogotá and Buenos Aires are historically stable. But they entered a worsening trajectory after Javier Millay, an extreme liberal who often expresses far-right positions, took power in Argentina in December 2023.

Colombia’s ambassador to Argentina, Camilo Romero, was recalled to his country for consultations in mid-January. At the time, Mr. Millay had described Mr. Petros as a “communist murderer who is going to sink Colombia.”