Colombian political party Green Alliance (Alianza Verde – AV) announced Wednesday that any presidential candidate who does not support Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro will lose endorsement, a clear sign for primary candidate Enrique Peñalosa who recently said to support Petro’s pending impeachment.
According to vice-president of the party, Senator Luis Carlos Avellaneda, “all the presidential candidates and all candidates for Congress , both in the Senate and the House of Representatives should be supporting Gustavo Petro and not supporting his departure.”
This was then emphasized with: “the Green Alliance will not endorse any candidates who continue to do so,” according to W Radio.
The message from the Green Party, according to Avellaneda, is mainly directed at ex-Mayor of Bogota and current Presidential Candidate, Enrique Penalosa, who has been vocal in his belief that Petro should be removed from power. Such threats do have weight as, according to El Tiempo newspaper, the Green Party’s recent alliance with the Progressive Party has culminated in having the ear of roughly 450,000 voters, a potentially game-changing amount.
In December, Petro was removed from his seat and banned from political activity for 15 years by Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado following alleged mismanagement of a waste collection system. However, in January, the Colombian judicial system suspended the immediate dismissal of Petro until it had had the opportunity to study the ruling of the Inspector General and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has now waded in to see if the dismissal was in accordance with international law that limits the impeachment of elected officials.
Inspector General Ordoñez ordered Mayor Petro’s removal after he converted Bogota’s garbage removal contracts from a private to a public service in 2012. This allegedly resulted in 9,920 tons of uncollected garbage on the streets of Colombia’s capital.
However, the attempted dismissal has worked in Petro’s favor as, once one of Colombia’s most unpopular mayors, Petro has enjoyed a meteoric rise in positive public opinion due to this scandal.