Colombian Court suspends ruling by inspector generalWednesday, January 15, 2014
Bogotá mayor’s ouster temporarily halted
BOGOTá — A Colombian court suspended a ruling by Colombian Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez to oust leftist Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro, who has been accused of mishandling changes to garbage collection in the city.
Judge José María Armenta considered yesterday that the Inspector General’s Office doesn’t have the authority to investigate officials that have been publicly elected, which is Petro’s case.
Rightist Ordóñez confirmed on Monday the removal of Petro, despite weeks of protests over the move and widespread support for the mayor, who holds Colombia’s second most powerful post.
Armenta’s decision will have to be ratified or revoked by fellow judges in the Cundinamarca Administrative Court, a department in the centre of Colombia where Bogotá is located.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who was supossed to ratify Ordóñez’s decision, will be prevented from doing so while the court debates the issue.
Ordóñez removed Petro from office after finding him responsible for “three serious errors to the implementation of the new cleanup model in the city of Bogotá.” He said that the mayor’s mistakes created a health hazard as rubbish piled up on the streets in 2012.
Petro, a former member of the defunct M-19 rebel movement, claims his ouster is politically-motivated and a sign that FARC rebels would not be easily incorporated into the political system if ongoing peace talks with the government are succesful.
In the meantime, Petro, an economist and former lawmkaer, is still in office.
Herald with AP, Télam