Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro receives stay-of-execution, slim chance to fight firing


Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro received today his first good news, since he discovered he wouldn´t be banished from the palace balcony.

(Photo: Liliana Campo) Bogotá´s embattled Mayor Petro Gustavo received at least a stay of execution Tuesday when an appeal court asked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos not to appoint a replacement or schedule elections until it has had a chance to determine whether the mayor´s rights have been violated.

(Photo: Liliana Campo) Bogotá´s embattled Mayor Petro Gustavo received at least a stay of execution Tuesday when an appeal court asked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos not to appoint a replacement or schedule elections until it has had a chance to determine whether the mayor´s rights have been violated.

Fighting what seemed to be a losing battle from being fired as Bogotá mayor and banished from politics for 15 years the former guerrilla leader received good news from the courts today.

The Tribunal Administrative de Cundinamarca – a departmental appeal court – has asked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos not to name a replacement or schedule elections until it has a chance to determine whether the embattled mayor´s rights have been infringed.

Colombian politics have been rocked by the apparent unjust firing of Petro since the country´s right-wing inspector general announced in December the corruption-fighting left-wing mayor was to be fired and banned from politics because of alleged mismanagement of the city´s garbage collection system.

Petro greeted the positive news with optimism.

“Between the multitudes of supporters and the justices they have stopped this act of tyranny and arbitrariness in a way that undoubtedly is going to make history, that is going to make peace and that is going to make democracy,” Petro said in Spanish.

Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez claimed Petro endangered public health and damaged free enterprise when garbage piled up in Bogotá´s streets for three days in December 2012.

On Monday, Ordóñez confirmed his decision, after dismissing an appeal by Petro.

The court decision in Petro´s favor could be a turning point in the battle, or amount only to stay-of-execution of 10 days or less.

Four protests in Bogotá´s Plaza de Bolívar have demonstrated support for Petro to continue as mayor. And Petro has called for daily protests in various locations in Bogotá and in other Colombian cities.

He is fighting for his political life on a number of levels, including an appeal to the International Commission of Human Rights, but until today little had gone Petro´s way.

At one time it appeared Petro would even be banned from the palace balcony where he has addressed the massive crowds in his struggle to hang onto his job. Architects in the city claimed the palace balcony might collapse under the weight of he and his entourage, but that has not halted further appearances.

For more information please read:

In Spanish: http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/bogota/petro-califico-triunfo-el-freno-su-destitucion-articulo-468550

In English: http://colombiareports.co/bogota-mayor-inspector-general-fears-human-rights-court/

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About Connecting Colombias

Recently retired newspaper reporter with one foot in British Columbia, Canada, the other in Colombia, South America. Fascinated with Colombian culture, Canadian connections, and heroic efforts to return millions of displaced Colombians to lands stolen by paramilitaries, guerrillas and organized crime.

2 responses to “Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro receives stay-of-execution, slim chance to fight firing”

  1. colombiadiaries says :

    Another clear summary of the situation and of this slim ray of sunshine.

    • Connecting Colombias says :

      Hello Colombiadiaries. Yes, it was a rare bit of good news. This week we should learn if this victory merely bought Petro some time to use some of his other tactics, or whether it could be the first step in overturning Ordóñez´s decision.

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