Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Benin feels the pinch of Nigeria's economic woes

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Deutsche Bank shares recover after turbulent week

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Inside Aleppo: 'Feels like prison'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The Legacy of Shimon Peres, The Battle of Aleppo (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump-Clinton Debate, Colombia Peace Deal, Death of the BlackBerry (Part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Backstage at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FASHION

Paris Fashion Week: Saint Laurent, Lanvin, present new designers

Read more

#THE 51%

Online and proud: Iranian women use social media in a campaign for equality

Read more

#TECH 24

Say hello to Pepper!

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)