Colombia’s State Council will review a court appeal filed by Bogota’s former mayor, Gustavo Petro, over his recent dismissal, local media reported Tuesday.
Petro was removed from office over supposed “irregularities” that occurred during his attempts to transfer the city’s private garbage collection system into public hands.
The appeal was initially supposed to be reviewed by the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca, but that court declared itself incompetent in making a ruling on the former mayor’s case.
Petro had filed a court appeal less than a week ago to annul the decision of the Inspector 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, was not brought before because they expected the government abide by the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
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.
Gustavo Petro, Bogota’s former mayor, was removed from office in December 2013 due to alleged “irregularities” that were uncovered in his attempts to transfer the city’s privatized garbage collection system into public hands. This allegedly resulted in 9,920 tons of uncollected garbage left on the streets.
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.
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.”
He has been replaced with an interim mayor, the Labor Minister Rafael Pardo.
The mayorship of Bogota is widely considered to be the second most important position in Colombian politics.
- Consejo de Estado estudiará demanda de nulidad de Gustavo Petro (El Espectador)
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