Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Kasai province killings : government releases footage allegedly showing execution of UN investigators

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

France's First Round Controversies

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

"Front National" makes it to the second round for the first time since 2002

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron vs. Le Pen: Unprecedented Choice in French Presidential Election (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron vs. Le Pen: Unprecedented Choice in French Presidential Election (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Khatia Buniatishvili, the 'pop star pianist'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French press review: Macron 'just a step away' from Elysée Palace

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Will the traditional alliance against France's National Front work in round two?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greek Cypriot negotiator: 'We regret that Turkey is distancing itself from Europe'

Read more

Americas

Colombian president dismisses mayor of Bogota

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-20

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday dismissed Bogota's mayor, Gustavo Petro, defying warnings from regional human rights monitors. Petro reacted by calling on hundreds of supporters to launch a general strike.

A former leftist guerrilla, Petro says that President Santos, a conservative, is targeting him for political reasons.

"The Colombian people should go on general strike, and peacefully so," Petro told a rally of about 1,500 supporters.

Judges from Colombia's top court on Tuesday upheld an October 28 order by the country's inspector-general removing Petro, 53, from office over his handling of the city's garbage collection contracts.

Under Colombia's political system, the independent inspector-general has the power to remove elected officials for malfeasance.

The inspector-general said Petro had abused his powers by eliminating private garbage collection contracts to replace them with a city-run service.

The Inter-American Commission Human Rights on Wednesday asked Colombia to drop the order to oust Petro and let him serve out his term. It also called on Bogota to take "precautionary measures" to guarantee Petro's political rights.

But Santos rejected the international body's request and named Rafael Pardo Rueda, the current labour minister, as Petro's replacement.

A former leader of the now defunct M-19 guerrilla group, Petro had argued that the example set by his removal from office would have an adverse effect on prospects for peace in Colombia, a country torn apart by rebel insurgencies for the past half century.

The Santos government is currently holding peace talks in Havana with the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the country's oldest and largest guerrilla group.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-03-20

  • COLOMBIA

    Ex-Colombian president storms back into politics

    Read more

  • COLOMBIA

    Colombia and FARC rebels agree on key peace issue

    Read more

  • COLOMBIA

    Colombia protests show dark side of economic boom

    Read more

COMMENT(S)