Colombia’s ‘other’ guerrilla army, the ELN, comes out against firing Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro

Colombia´s second largest rebel army spoke out today against the right-wing campaign to depose Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro.

Flag of ELN. Français : Draupeau d'ELN. Italia...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) Colombia´s second largest armed rebel group says peace will be difficult to attain if Bogotá Major Gustavo Petro is ousted over charges of mismanaging the city´s garbage collections system.

The Ejército de Liberación Nacional which is seeking both peace negotiations and a bilateral ceasefire with the Colombian government joined the chorus of complaints against the dismissal of Petro.

The former Cuban-allied guerrillas said the removal of Petro would suspend attempts to build a peaceful future for Colombian in suspense.

Both the larger Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia and the incoming U.S. ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker have similarly stated the removal of Petro – a former M-19 guerrilla leader turned politician – would place in doubt campaigns to convince Colombians they could abandon armed struggle and attempt political and social change peacefully.

The ELN asked how insurgent groups could accept the government´s commitent if it’s political opponents can be removed from office for supposed violations of law.

The ELN noted how former senator Piedad Cordoba, another powerful spokesperson for the Colombian left, has also been disqualified from public office for 18 years by Colombia´s inspector general for communications with FARC guerrillas. Cordoba received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for her part in negotiating the release of FARC hostages.

The removal of Petro by Colombia’s extreme right-wing inspector general contains no allegations of illegality or corruption, but that he purportedly risked the health of Bogotá residents and violated principles of free enterprise by making garbage collection a public responsibility.

It resulted in three days of garbage piling up on Bogotá streets in December 2012. But evidence has been mounting of a conspiracy of private collectors to sabotage the new system. And there has been testimony that Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez met secretly with Petro´s political opponents to advise them they could prepare their campaigns to be chosen Bogotá mayor as he would be removing the former guerrilla leader.

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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 “Colombia’s ‘other’ guerrilla army, the ELN, comes out against firing Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro”

  1. colombiadiaries says :

    Ordóñez continues to behave as if he has a God given right to select and de-select leaders in what should be a democratic process. Let’s hope that checks and balances cut in to stop his biased and conspiratorial decision before the peace process is jeopardised further.

    • Connecting Colombias says :

      Your choice of words: “God given right” reach directly to the point. Ordóñez clearly does belief he represents the true believers. In Petro´s last speech we attended he used phrases such as yours more than a dozen times. I think I should be posting something about that soon.

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