President Santos rejects international human rights court, fires Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro
The victory party in Plaza de Bolívar turned into a funeral when Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos snubbed an international human rights court and fired Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro.
Santos defied the court’s recommendations that Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro not be immediately fired. Santos fired Petro as thousands gathered in Bogotá to celebrate in belief that Santos would respect the request as he earlier indicated.
It was announced minutes ago that Santos is appointing Minister of Labour Rafael Pardo as interim mayor of Bogotá. He has rejected the Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos´ recommendation that the embattled left-wing mayor not be removed until it can be determined whether his and Bogotá voters´ political and human rights would be damaged by the decision.
The shocking move comes as thousands were called to Bogotá´s Plaza de Bolívar to celebrate the CIDH recommendation made earlier today that Petro not be fired. Celebrations turned quickly to anger. Anti-Santos chants erupted and protesters denounced Petro´s removal as undemocratic.
But the strong showing by former president Álvaro Uribe´s right-wing Centro Democrático in Bogotá and the weak showing of the Colombian left in last week´s congressional elections suggests Santos worries more about losing votes to the right than to the left during this election campaign.
Firing Petro could be aimed to shore up right-wing support.
For more information please read today´s earlier post at: http://davidhogben.com/2014/03/19/international-court-intervenes-in-gustavo-petros-future-puts-president-santos-on-political-hotseat/