Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Petro Conspiracies

Last year's garbage crisis: A conspiracy?
I don't go much for conspiracy theories. I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, (probably on his own initiative), that Juan Roa Sierra shot Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, that the Nazi Holocaust actually happened and that Apollo really did land on the Moon.

But did Bogotá's private garbage collection companies conspire last year to fill the streets with garbage and embarrass Mayor Gustavo Petro when he tried to transfer trash collection from private to public hands? It's just possible.

That theory has become a favorite of Petro's supporters, who are now fighting against Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez's decision to oust the mayor because of mishandling of the garbage scheme last year.

Inspector General Ordoñez. Should Petro thank him?
This story in today's El Espectador seems to support the conspiracy ideas - altho it's not clear to me where the interviewee got his evidence.

But now, with the Registraduría Nacional's ill-timed ruling that a recall vote on Petro's mayoralty will go ahead, any conspiracy might actually go in Petro's favor.

The past week, Petro and his supporters have been arguing, both here in Colombia and internationally, that the Inspector General's order is anti-democratic. After all, Petro was elected by Bogotá's citizens, whereas Ordoñez was appointed by Congress.

Before Ordoñez's ruling, Petro had been fighting the recall vote tooth and nail, filing myriad tutelas to delay or prevent the vote. After the Registraduría's decision today, Petro said he welcomed the recall vote and would do nothing to delay it.

Undoubtedly, Petro sees a recall vote victory as legitimizing his rule and 'proving' Ordoñez wrong.

Mayor Petro: Benefiting
from the garbage crisis?
And, paradoxically, Petro has Ordoñez to thank for that. After all, before Ordoñez's ruling, Petro's support was at about 40%. After the right-wing Ordoñez decided to oust Petro and ban him from politics for 15 years - a decision which most Bogotanos believe is far out of proportion to the offense - Petro's support jumped above 50%. The decision also made the arrogant Petro look like a victim and rallied his supporters into an active force.

Suddenly, with more public support and a motivated backers, Petro's recall vote chances look much stronger.

But, before he can face that vote (likely to happen in late February), Petro must find a way to delay or suspend Ordoñez's ruling. Today, Petro was in Washington D.C. appealing  for support to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

If Petro can evade ouster and go on to win a recall election, that would give his administration new energy - all thanks to the private garbage companies and Procurador Ordoñez.

A conspiracy? Perhaps Petro himself planned it all.

(Most bizzarely, even if Petro is ousted, the recall election will still go ahead, forcing Bogotanos to finance an expensive election about a politician who's already out of office.)

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Nelson Roldán said...

The only arrogant in here are you "gringo"... Why dont you go home??? Im tired of read all yor LIES. We; the Bogotanos support Petro... In a proportion of more than 60%. And we say that #petrosequeda pongale la firma "gringo"

Anonymous said...

Ahhh.... yes, the often typical Colombian defensive rebuttal. Telling someone to "go home" is the reponse of someone who can't make a coherent argument. It would seem that you, and your insinuations of speaking for the people of Bogota make you the arrogant one; not the author.

Miguel said...

Hi Nelson,

Perhaps you misunderstand. I think Petro should stay, at least until the recall vote. While he's been a disappointment for me, I don't think it's Ordoñez place to remove.

And in regards to any 'lies' or 'truths' in this blog, nobody at all has to read it. If you're tired or reading the blog, then just read something else instead.


Stuart Oswald said...

Petro should be counting chickens he's not standing trial at a Nuremburg.

Unknown said...

There is a complot against Mayor Petro. This one might be true. There are a lot of interests playing into official business, contractors and powerfull corrupters.
Petro fought against the corruption practices of carrusel of contratation that finally let to Moreno into jail, the former Bogota mayor. Made him a lot of enemies inclusive among his own political party. Not is rare that Petro´s enemies might be working for pull him out from Bogota and political activity.

Nelson Roldán said...

Well... First at all, I dont like write in english because Im not good at all... But I will.

To miguel; Petro is arrogant and authoritarian... with the corrupt. People with whom there is no possibility of discussion. They just wanna sack the district coffers... The same people that always have been in the power (Uribistas, santistas, liberales, conservadores, etc.) People who ONLY want to steal our money. Petro is humble... with the humbles. And thats why WE support him... If you haven't "seen"... poor people are majority in this city and in this country. And thats the people who support Petro. But not just poor people... People from various "estratos" also. That support makes him simply VERY strong politically... And as Petro don't pays homage to the mafia narcoparamilitar that rules the country... Thats the reason because they have to eliminate him... One way or another... this time politically. Before, they killed them (like they have done since gaitan... guadalupe salcedo, jaramillo osa, cepeda, CAMILO PIZARRO, galan, Union Patriotica"5000 deaths",etc, etc, etc.) Can´t you really say that is not a conspiracy?... pFFF Come on. I just comment in YOUR blog... Because is FREE. I write, not to change your opinion... But to make know, to all the people who can read this article... What a citizen of Bogotá really thinks, me. And there a lots more that think like me... Don´t you watched the mobilizations the last week? Let me tell you than that doesn't happens since 1948... the April 9, our history was broken. That December 9 of 2013... we recovered her. Respectfully I tell that you are lying because you say the same crap that says Rcn, Caracol, city tv, etc, etc, etc. And if you base your opinion in liars... Let me tell you that you are wrong, because their function is not report objectively... but defend the interest of their proprietors. Yeah, yeah... the same mafias NARCOparamilitaries of always. Who do you believe makes escobar "patron del mal", Gaxcha, tres kaines and all that bullshit??? Maybe this could be hard to believe for you... But not all Colombians believe the narcos are examples of moral... and many of us, hate them. I clarify... I only have read in YOUR blog... the articles with the subject of Petro. And I am in disagree with some of your opinions about it.

Nelson Roldán said...

To Daniel, I really don't think that there are many Colombians who tell to the foreigners "go home"... knowing that the Colombians are the most "kneeling" and "ass kissers" of the world with the foreigners... Especially with the blond, blue eye ones. If makes you feel better... I say the same to the paisas, costeños, caleños, etc; that come to our city to talk "bad things" of us at our back. You must know that Colombians... and specially bogotanos, are very sensitive about political subjects... And Petro is now the most sensible subject of them all... so, I think the article is poor in investigation... about something that is far more complex. You ask arguments... I have lived in this city and in this country almost three decades. So... I think that give me a little more of authority than you, to talk about this subject. dont you think so? But here are a few too: -ón_petro_sobre_propiedad_de_compactadores. And this is no arrogancy... this is a TRUTH.... We, the BOGOTANOS support to Petro... Don´t you saw the movilizations??? And we say #petrosequeda Pongale la firma.

Nelson Roldán said...

To stuart, you are free to think as you like. I just tell you... While you live in our city... You are a bogotano more and Petro STILL is our mayor. Don´t you like? nobody is retaining you... you are free to go wherever you like. you can go mmm... lets say to Medallo... I know they treat foreigners VERY well in there... pFFF

Nelson Roldán said...

I think thats all. I really don't wanna discuss more...

(Excuse my english)

Anonymous said...

Actually, the amount of time you have lived somewhere entitles you to nothing. You don't have to be a resident of someplace for a specfic period of time, in order to see the glaring problems that are ever present.

And yes, every time you claim to speak for everyone in the city, you come off as pretty arrogant. You don't speak for everybody, and the people of Bogota don't speak with one voice. What gives you the right to claim such authority? Because you have lived in Bogota for a certain period of time? That hardly makes you qualfied. All you are is some guy posting on the internet.

Yes, many Colombians usually revert to the "go home" phrase when a foreigner is critical of Colombia. Whether you realize it or not, many Colombians are sensitive about their country almost to the point of insecurity.

Mike's viewpoints are normally pretty moderate, and he makes decent argumnents. Just because you don't agree with what has to say, doesn't make what he says any less relevant. Maybe you should listen to what others are saying sometimes, instead or writing them off because they don't claim to speak for all of the city's residents.

Miguel said...

Thanks Daniel.

Actually, it often seems to me that people who are new to a place can make the most striking and insightful observations, just because they're not accustomed to things, whether good or bad.

That's happened to me many times, when tourists ask 'Why is this this way.' And I think 'Wow, I'd always just taken that for granted.'