Colombia’s Inspector General has submitted a request to meet with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) to explain his office’s decision to remove and politically sanction the Mayor of Bogota, reported a national newspaper Thursday.
In a request processed through the Colombian Foreign Ministry, Alejandro Ordoñez expressed his interest in using an upcoming official visit to Washington, DC to explain to the international body the “procedural and constitutional instruments” he implemented in his decision, according to El Espectador.
The decision in question has caused a prolonged controversy within Colombia regarding the Inspector General’s actions and the powers afforded his office. The IACHR began looking into the case last December at the request of Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro, who will be removed from office and banished from holding a subsequent elected position for 15 years should the decision hold up to various legal proceedings.
A spokesperson for the IACHR told Colombia Reports Thursday that a formal request has indeed been received by the commission but declined further comment on whether or not the oversight body would agree to meet with Ordoñez.
When asked about the commission, the Inspector General refrained from commenting on whether he believed the IACHR had received erroneous or misinterpreted information about the case, El Espectador reported.
Despite making previous indications that he would not recognize the validity of the international court’s jurisdiction on the matter, Ordoñez stated that he will answer any questions that the commission puts forward and that he will be available at any time to “explain the operation of our institutions, which are procedural and substantive constitutional instruments available in the country to protect citizens’ rights,” as quoted in the El Tiempo newspaper.
Since his dismissal was handed down on December 9, 2013 over alleged “irregularities” in the conversion of Bogota’s waste collection management contracts to a public service, Mayor Gustavo Petro has joined hundreds of upset citizens in filing a number of legal challenges, including the original IACHR request, in an attempt to slow down the Inspector General’s ruling.
The IACHR recently agreed to consider Petro’s extended argument, while a series of separate processes work themselves through the Colombian court system.
- Interview (IACHR spokesperson)
- Procurador explicará sanción a Petro ante la CIDH (El Espectador)
- Procurador está dispuesto a ir a la CIDH a explicar sanción de Petro (El Tiempo)