Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Too sexy for Malaysia': Hit single 'Despacito' stirs controversy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is this the end of Emmanuel Macron's honeymoon period?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Macron's air force uniform draws Tom Cruise comparisons

Read more

THE DEBATE

Polish democracy under threat? EU warns Warsaw over judicial independence

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Game of Thrones and TV's golden age

Read more

ENCORE!

The best of the summer's exhibitions in Paris

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Game of Thrones returns: Mega fans bask in themed pop-up bar

Read more

FOCUS

Unwanted children: 3,800 babies abandoned in South Africa every year

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Looking for Lenin': The search for fallen Soviet statues in Ukraine

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)