Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro´s firing confirmed by inspector general
Supporters are gathering at this moment in Plaza de Bolívar to protest the firing of Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro.
The former M-19 guerrilla leader has almost been ousted as the second most powerful elected official in Colombia after a controversial decision to fire him and bar him from public office for 15 years.
The right-wing Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez orchestrated Petro´s ouster by confirming his findings that the mayor had allegedly mismanaged Bogotá´s garbage collection service which lead to three days of poor service in December 2012.
Four massive gatherings in Colombia´s Plaza de Bolívar since the announcement in early December failed to sway Ordóñez.
Petro has few remaining options left.
Colombia´s nation prosecutor is investigating the constitutionality of the decision as well as the evidence upon which it was based.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States is also determining whether the the human rights of Bogotá voters have been violated.
Both those possibilities seem unlikely to occur quick enough to prevent Petro´s firing, but they could preclude his 15-year-ban from public office.
The ball now is Colombian President Juan Manuel Santo´s court. He could put an interim mayor in the position and call a quick election to replace Petro.
Many constitutional experts believe he could also prevent Petro´s firing, but until now has refused to involve himself in the dispute that has raised questions about Colombia´s purported democracy and confidence in the peace process with FARC guerrillas.
Evidence of a right-wing conspiracy against Petro indicated the private garbage collectors conspired to create a garbage collection crisis, when Petro removed the private contracts.
There has also been testimony that Ordóñez met with a right-wing candidate before publicly announcing Petro´s firing so that he could get a head-start on preparing his campaign to replace Petro.
It remains to be seen if the protests – which until now have been peaceful – will remain so as anger spreads through Colombia´s capital city and beyond.
For more information please read: In English: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/2014/01/14/Colombian-official-confirms-ouster-of-Bogotas-leftist-mayor/
In Spanish: http://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/procurador-confirma-la-destitucion-de-gustavo-petro/370775-3