Colombia rejects US, UN criticism on Bogota mayor’s dismissal

Posted on Dec 12 2013 - 12:58pm by Editor
Maria Angela Holguin Colombia

Colombia rejected criticism over the recent dismissal of Gustavo Petro, mayor of the capital Bogota, as voiced by a UN representative and the incoming US ambassador.

Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin told W Radio on Thursday that “it’s good Whitaker knows that in this country the ambassadors do not give opinions about internal affairs and that we will not allow there will be statements over internal affairs, and less about decisions of organs of control.”

The minister responded to remarks made by incoming US ambassador Kevin Whitaker, who had told a US Senate committee on Wednesday that the decision to dismiss Petro could affect peace talks with rebel group FARC as the guerrillas could come to the conclusion there are no political guarantees for leftist political actors.

MORE: Incoming US Ambassador Says Dismissal Of Bogota Mayor Is ‘Bad Signal’ For Peace Talks

Holguin said she would talk to Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson about her government’s discontent. The minister rejected the possibility of sending a formal letter of protest.

Holguin rejection of Whitaker’s critical note follows two days after Colombia’s Interior Minister, Aurelio Iragorri, spoke out to reject criticism by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Todd Howland who had said that Ordoñez had possibly violated the rights of Bogota citizens who voted for Petro.

MORE: UN Wants To Meet Colombia’s Inspector General Over Dismissal Bogota Mayor

“International organisms do not exist to take side or to approve or disapprove judicial or disciplinary decision,” Iragorri told press.

While the government has rejected foreign intervention in the controversial 15-year politician ban of the leftist Petro, members of both the executive and judicial branch called on a revision of the authority of the Inspector General.

Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealagre said the Prosector General’s Office was “medieval and inquisitorial” in a rejection of Ordoñez’ decision.

Justice Minister Alfonso Gomez had also called for a revision of the Prosector General’s authority.

Ordoñez came under scrutiny after ordering Petro’s dismissal and a 15-year-long impediment to hold public office over “irregularities” that were established in a project to reorganize Bogota’s trash collection.

MORE: Colombia’s Inspector General Dismisses Bogota Mayor Over Trash Collecting Scandal

Sources

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