Friday, September 23, 2011

Go Straight to Prison, Without Passing Go

Work on Calle 26, east of Carrera 7. Scandal around this project has Mayor Samuel Moreno behind bars.
Bogotá's suspended mayor Samuel Rojas Moreno went to prison today, where he'll await his trial on corruption charges for allegedly receiving kickbacks for Bogotá publics works projects.

The judge evidently decided that the evidence against the mayor was strong and that Moreno posed a risk of flight - he also holds United States citizenship.

The mayor got elected on a smile and a promise to build a subway line. Bogotá still has no metro and the two Transmilenio lines under construction are way behind schedule and over budget. But, in the picture on El Tiempo's website today, Moreno's still smiling.

A bus belches fumes. Municipal
environmental officials can't see this. 
Bogotanos will remember the Moreno administration as a time of corruption, frustration and terrible traffic congestion. While the Transmilenio expansion was necessary, it certainly could have been handled much better.

Not smiling now. Today's news headlines. 
In addition to the mismanagement and alleged corruption, Moreno should also be remembered for having let Bogotá's laws go lax. During the Moreno years we've seen public space invaded by cars and street vendors, pollution go uncontrolled and traffic laws unenforced. Perhaps that is Moreno's worst offense.
A city council candidate from Moreno's Polo Democratico party, which has apologized  for the Moreno  fiasco.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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