|'Smile, Mr. Mockus!'|
Antanas Mockus, ex-Bogotá mayor, failed presidential candidate and newly-elected senator, appeared on Jimenez Avenue today and was treated like a rock star.
An unlikely politician, Mockus was a philosophy and mathematics professor and rector of the Universidad Nacional, known for 'eccentricities' such as riding his bicycle to work (why is that eccentric?) and once dropping his pants and displaying his behind to an audience of protesting students.
As mayor, Mockus was known for his probity and for innovative public policies such as employing mimes to teach social responsibility.
He later ran for president and lost, perhaps because people felt that such a man wouldn't be suited to lead a war against leftist guerrillas.
A few years ago, Mockus was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but he has confronted the disease with stoicism and courage, saying recently that he has years of contributions left to make. As the Green Party's standard bearer, he received the second largest vote of any senatorial candidate.
Perhaps that's why Mockus receives this warm welcome, unusual for a politician and unheard of for a mathematics professor.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours