December 19, 2014
Colombian president confirms ousting of Bogota mayor
The mayor of Colombia's capital city Bogota has been removed from his post, President Juan Manuel Santos said in a declaration, after a run of appeals to overturn a decision to dismiss him for mismanagement failed.
Gustavo Petro, 53, was dismissed from his post by the inspector general in December last year over a disastrous attempt to overhaul the management of the city's waste collection but stayed on pending the judicial appeals.
His dismissal and a 15-year ban from holding political office was broadly viewed as disproportionate, even among those who did not support him. The case became a political hot potato amid perceptions his dismissal and 15-year-ban from politics may have been intended to undermine the political left wing.
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights called late on Tuesday for the decision by Colombia's highest judicial authority judging cases involving government bodies to suspend its decision and enable Petro to serve the rest of his mandate.
Santos, who named Labor Minister Rafael Pardo Rueda interim mayor of Bogota, said in a declaration that the appeals and reviews of the decision to oust Petro had been exhaustive and that it now had to be carried out to respect the constitution.