Colombia’s Ombudsman has today filed a request with the nation’s inspector general to begin disciplinary hearings against Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro.
Jorge Armando Otálora, the “Defensor del Pueblo” confirmed in the early hours of the morning he had moved to bring Petro’s actions, which he considers to be a threat to the health of Bogotanos, to the attention of the recently re-elected top prosecutor Alejandro Ordonez.
Otalora has labelled Petro’s “improvisation” amid the troubled start of the new garbage collection model which yesterday plunged Bogota into chaos “gravely” unacceptable.
The Ombudsman accuses Petro of failing in his duty to protect “the fundamental rights” of Bogota’s eight million souls and has asked the authorities to step in to protect the city.
The mayor’s new plan to place refuse collection in the hands of the public sector has been roundly criticized for its lack of operational robustness, its lack of planning and its woeful execution on day one.
Bizarrely the mayor has failed to ensure Aguas Bogota, the subsidiary of the city’s state-run aqueduct in charge of the new operation, the delivery of the dust carts necessary to patrol the city’s streets.
Aguas Bogota must wait months until new carts are delivered and in the meantime has sent for reinforcements from New York.
In a further twist, these borrowed trucks will not arrive until the end of the year leaving Aguas Bogota yesterday to adopt drastic measures, rolling out a makeshift and apparently illegal float of vehicles in its first day of operations.
The Ombudsman has indicated it will take action against the mayor for the use of these vehicles which he argued placed the lives of workers at risk.
Meanwhile President Santos has indicated that if the plan continues to flounder he will, within days, step in.
The Ombudsman when asked whether he should wait before lodging the official complaint argued that the legal statutes state that a governor is responsible for his actions as soon as he begins to execute them. It is a legal decision, he argues, based on a dereliction of duty and a lack of planning that threatens the livelihood, security and health of the capital’s population.
Petro also looks set to lose today his right hand man, Guillermo Asprilla who appears to have been kicked out by Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez and preventing from occupying public office for up to 12 years.
Less than a year into his government Petro is hanging on for dear life. Bogotanos are today asking when he will start to govern.