Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mayor Petro?

Bogotá's next mayor?
Petro and supporters. 
He only recently left the party of the current mayor, Samuel Moreno, who is now suspended from office for scandalous mismanagement of Bogotá's transit work.

He belonged to the M-19 guerrilla group, still known for its disastrous 1985 attack on the Justice Palace on Bogotá's Plaza Simón Bolívar.

And his website still contains his platform from his presidential campaign.

Nevertheless, Gustavo Petro leads the race for mayor of Bogotá, according to a recent survey. The survey gave Petro 15.4% support and ex-mayor Enrique Peñalosa 14.6%.

The results are most of all a testament to the poor campaigning ability of Peñalosa, who was strongly popular during his term as mayor from 1998 to 2001. The campaign also has several centrist candidates dividing the vote, while Petro is alone on the left.

The results even generate renewed speculation about ex-Pres. Alvaro Uribe entering the race. 

City Hall, on the left, and the Justice Palace, on the right, on Plaza Bolívar. 
Most likely, voters will rally around one of the centrist candidates. If not Peñalosa, then Gina Parody, Carlos Galan or David Luna. Petro, in contrast, has strong negatives because of his association with Samuel Moreno and the M-19 guerrillas which will limit his support.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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