|Mayor Petro: |
Where do I go from here?
In an angry speech on Plaza Bolívar, Petro all but labeled Ordoñez a paramilitary. "The inspector general should tell the world that he is the continuance of those who wanted to extinguish all differences, liberty and democracy," Petro said.
|Petro supporters this afternoon on Plaza Bolivar.|
On the other hand, Ordoñez's actions may be anti-democratic, as Petro claims. But Petro must still accept them. After all, he long ago accepted the system's rules when he went from being a guerrilla to being a politician, and so now he has to play by them.
|Pro-Petro posters ridicule the arch-conservative |
Ordoñez by depicting him in a gay wedding.
|Still a problem, still unclassified: |
Trash bags on a Bogotá sidewalk.
Ironically, Petro's destitution comes on the same day the city incorporates another idealistic and unrealistic Petro policy - to require rsidents to separate recyclable trash and set it out in transparent plastic bags, the theory being that waste pickers won't bother to tear open those bags. Unfortunately, Bogotanos haven't yet developed the culture and discipline to carry out such a system. And neither does the personal accountability exist in a city in which many residents simply place their trash on a streetcorner - making it impossible to identify who's separating their trash and who isn't.
|Petro supporters on Plaza Bolivar write notes |
attacking solicitor general Ordoñez.
|A dream unfulfilled: City trashworkers in 'Zero Garbage'|
uniforms walk toward Plaza Bolivar today.
Instead, after nearly two years as mayor, most of Petro's polemical policies - with the exception of his land use regimen - have been of limited scope: the closing of part of Ave. Septima to motorized traffic during the daytime and banning of bullfighting.
Now, most of Petro's policies likely will be reversed. I'm left with a mixture of regret at what might have been and hope that, whoever becomes mayor next, will value actions over dreamy aspirations.
Afterword: I can't help comparing Petro's situation to that of Toronto Mayor Robert Ford, who has admitted to buying illegal drugs, smoking crack and drinking and driving while mayor. Ford has also been filmed threatening to kill someone while in a drunken furor, and pushed over an older city councilwoman in the council chamber. In response to allegations that he had employed prostitutes and asked a city employee for oral sex, Ford talked vulgarly about sex acts on live television.
But, despite all of these of this misbehavior, much of it criminal, Toronto's City Council lacks the power to oust Ford (altho they have stripped away his staff and much of his authority). Does that suggest that Bogotá is out of the mainstream in giving officials authority to oust mayors?
In any case, we can now ask: Which of these two big cities' mayors is making his city look ridiculous?
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours