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.
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.
For more information please read: