Gustavo Petro

Colombia’s State Council decided Tuesday that it would revise Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro’s appeal against his dismissal by the Inspector General last December.

The State Council will revise the appeal by Petro claiming the violation of his fundamental rights as a democratically elected official by the Inspector General, after the original appeal was rejected by the Court of Cundinamarca.

Petro’s writ of protection – a recourse allowing any Colombian citizen who feels their rights are being violated to file a suit that must be heard by a judge within 10 days – alleges that a decision handed down last December by the Inspector General removing him from office and banning him from politics for 15 years was an illegal overextension of the Inspector General’s authority.

MORE: Colombia’s Inspector General dismisses Bogota Mayor over trash collecting scandal

Mayor Petro’s writ first passed through the Court of Cundinamarca – the relevant judicial entity of Cundinamarca State, of which Bogota is the capital – where it was rejected last week.

Magistrate Samuel Ramirez ruled against Petro, citing that the Colombian Constitution attributes the Inspector General with the power to dismiss any public servant, including any elected official.

Now the case goes before Colombia’s State Council, after the court en banc decided to look into Petro’s appeal.

In the meantime, the new examination of the writ will delay the removal itself. Petro had previously predicted he would have until the 30th of January to leave office, but now the timeline is unclear.

MORE: ‘This story has finished’: Bogota mayor expects to leave office Jan 30 


Hundreds of other writs by Colombian citizens claiming an infringement of their rights as voters are also being processed by the courts, and the recent decision of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to consider Petro’s emergency suspension request means that this story, despite what the mayor may have had to say previously, is not over yet.


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