Former Bogota Mayor Petro files another court appeal

Posted on Mar 29 2014 - 12:08pm by Rico
Gustavo Petro

The former mayor of Bogota Gustavo Petro has filed another court appeal to annul the decision of the Attorney General’s Office that ejected him from office and banned him from running for elected office for 15 years.

Petro’s lawyer, Ivan Acuña said that this action, at the Court of Cundinamarca, was not brought before because they expected the government abide by the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), local media reported Saturday morning.

The Court of Cundinamarca is the same court that granted him a temporary reprieve on January 14 2014, when it suspended his immediate dismissal by Colombia’s Inspector General for actions relating to a Bogota garbage collection.

MORE: Court suspends dismissal of Bogota mayor

Acuña said he expected the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca make a decision “very soon and hopefully favorably to requests we made.”

“We have also requested in this lawsuit this interim measure because they are causing irreparable damage , hopefully when demand accepted by the Court has also expect a ruling in the injunction.”

“We have also requested in this lawsuit this interim measure because they are causing irreparable damage , hopefully when demand accepted by the Court has also expect a ruling in the injunction.”

-Petro’s lawyer

The story so far

Less than two weeks ago, Colombia saw the conclusive sacking of former Bogota mayor Petro by the President Juan Manuel Santos himself, bringing a definitive end to months of speculation, but not the controversy.

MORE: Santos ignores international court ruling, replaces Bogota mayor

The final decision followed months of legal and political battles, all initiated by the announcement of Petro’s dismissal on December 9 last year by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez, supposedly in response to the former mayor’s failed reform to the capital city’s waste collection service.

The move by President Santos directly disregarded a measure issued by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights , which demanded that “Colombia immediately suspend the effects of the decision of December 9 2013 … in order to guarantee the exercise of political rights of Mr. Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego and allow him to complete the period of time, for which he was elected to serve as the mayor of Bogota on October 30 2011.”

MORE: Ignoring IACHR no ‘direct and clear’ violation of Colombia’s constitution: former magistrate

The issue of “the exercise of political rights” has been one of the most defining ones in Petro’s increasingly challenging fight to remain in office.

Constitution vs International Law

The reason being mainly the conflicting legislation of the Colombian Constitution – which allows the Inspector General to dismiss any public official they see fit – and the Inter-American convention, which Colombia is legally obliged to abide by, and which only allows the dismissal of a publicly elected official following a court hearing.

Apart from the verdict of the IACHR, which ultimately proved to be worthless in preventing his ousting by the IG and Santos, his most promising recourse had been the hundreds of writs of protection submitted by his fellow Colombians — appeals that any citizen can use to claim protection of their fundamental rights, and which must be reviewed by a judge within 10 days.

These mainly decried the alleged violation of both Petro’s fundamental right to be elected, and the right of the public to elect its own officials. The writs successfully delaying the dismissal process until the last of these were rejected in one crucial blow by the State Council on March 18.

MORE: The end of Petro: Bogota’s Mayor to leave office

Sources

The post Former Bogota Mayor Petro files another court appeal appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.