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President Gustavo Petro appointed this Sunday, August 7, Mery Janneth Gutierrez as new Minister of Information Technology and Communications, and who succeeds in office at the moment former minister Carmen Ligia Valderrama, who recently shared the balance of her management with Impacto TIC.

Mery Gutierrez ICT Minister 1
The new ICT Minister, Mery Janneth Gutiérrez, during the inauguration ceremony of President Gustavo Petro. Photo taken from tweet by Luis Eduardo Leiva, @LeivaPotter.

«Mery Gutiérrez will be the ICT minister. She is a specialist in new information technologies. She will be tasked with taking the technology infrastructure where she hasn't gone before. We will work so that all children and young people enjoy the right to access the Internet”, Petro wrote on his Twitter account at 5:52 PM, shortly after taking office.

According to President Petro, Mery Janneth Gutiérrez will take office this Monday, August 8, by documentation issues.

The new ICT minister is a lawyer from the Universidad Externado de Colombia, a specialist in public, private and international contracting, and with a specialization in ICT management. Among his actions in the ICT area, his time as manager of Schedule TV and its participation, as an interested party with this company, in the process of the failed award of a third private television channel.

Precisely, as manager of Programar TV, in 2016 sued, according to the newspaper Evaluamos, the then ICT Minister David Luna and to the National Television Agency (ANTV) for alleged procedural fraud, libel, slander and improper execution of a contract, in a process related to the operation of Channel One.

The minister supported President Gustavo Petro in his campaign, and after being elected, accompanied him as part of the splicing commission in the ICT Ministry, as part of the working group that analyzed the current state, progress and challenges of the Single ICT Fund, FOTIC, which led River Gomez.

As the new minister, Mery Gutiérrez will have as her main challenges the renewal and allocation of spectrum and the 5G auction, as well as the renewal of spectrum use licenses and the renewal of spectrum and 6 Ghz band concessions.

In addition, it will have the task of moving forward in establishing a regulatory framework for digital platforms such as Uber, Rappi and, as if that were not enough, strengthening the name of the ministry that was affected by the Centros Poblados corruption scandal and the departure of Karen Abudinen. in 2021.

It should be noted that, despite the scandal, the challenge posed by the administration of Iván Duque, to bring internet connection to distant areas of the country, is still valid. Advancing in the training of skills and abilities demanded by the ICT labor market of the 21st century should also be added to the pending list of the new minister.

Mery Gutiérrez will then be in charge of promoting the new government's Information and Communications Technology policy. It should be noted that in his government plan, Gustavo Petro proposes Internet access as a fundamental tool for a more productive society.

Some tweets reveal the views of the new minister

On his Twitter account, @MeryJannethG2, Minister Gutiérrez has commented, with little intensity, political events and some events related to the digital world and the ICT sector.

En this, expresses that digital media and social networks are to democratize, humanize and overcome the concentration of the media:

Here, he thanks President Petro for his appointment, and says a phrase that could lend itself to debate: "Never again will a child or young person be bombarded searching the Internet in our country."

What does Gustavo Petro's program say about ICT issues?

In his government program, Gustavo Petro raises “democratize virtual space” as the key mechanism to advance towards economic and social development in all regions of the country. Move towards a productive economy.

«Virtual space is a new scenario where social exchanges of all kinds circulate and take place, including commerce and knowledge. Improving the connectivity of the population throughout the country is a precondition for the generation of wealth and well-being within the framework of a rapidly changing glocal society”, it is read in his government program.

"Achieve a greater and better coverage in terms of connectivity throughout the national territory requires obtaining a satellite and an aerospace agency to manage it”, adds.

«We will establish a fiber optic expansion plan to bring the Internet free of charge and carry out the Digital Transformation at the national level, with priority in rural areas, promoting community networks and small Internet service providers in towns”.

“We will promote the use of free software and emerging technologies in both the public and private sectors at the national level (metaverse, Blockchain, 5G connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, telehealth, etc.). We will promote training and digital laboratories in the different regions of the country, for the generation of knowledge and learning based on experience.

In his government program, he also states that «The digital industry policy will be a tool for productivity, employment and income generation for current and new companies in different sectors. We will promote the expansion of physical spaces for collaborative work (coworking) in the countryside and the city. We will promote an information and knowledge society through the use of technologies to support communications and the different production processes in the public and private sectors».

Petro also includes a section entitled 'The Democratization of Knowledge' in which he refers to the need to enhance the role of technological innovation for the development of Colombia. Move towards a 'productive transformation'.

"The National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SNCTI) will be the instrument to achieve articulation at the local and regional level between universities, businessmen, communities and public entities, in a way that stimulates the improvement of productivity", points out