Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Colombia: Update--Ousted Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro Reinstated by Council of State

According to The Associated Press, the highest administrative court in the country, the Council of State, ordered the immediate reinstatement within 48 hours of ousted Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro.

The surprise ruling by the Superior Tribunal of Bogotá is the latest twist in an ongoing legal battle between a former rebel who was vehemently disliked by Colombia's conservative political establishment. 

COMMENT: Despite Mayor Petro's political affiliation, it appears that in Colombia as well as abroad, it appears as if  Petro had been mouse-trapped by the conservatives.

Petro was removed from office in March 2014 after President Juan Manuel Santos refused to heed the Inter-American Human Rights Commission's call for a stay on the Inspector General's ouster of the mayor months earlier for alleged administrative missteps.

The former rebel hailed the ruling on Twitter as a victory for the political will of Bogotá's residents. Santos has yet to comment and it's unclear whether the government will enforce or appeal the ruling made in response to an injunction request.

If President Santos vigorously appeals the decision of the Council of State, he will be sending a very clear signal to the left that the Mayor's ouster was imbedded in political motivation.