Petro was dismissed from office this March by the inspector general, due to “irregularities” with the transfer of garbage collection from a private to public operation, in 2012. The dismissal was sanctioned in spite of attempts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to keep him in office.
In interview with Caracol Radio Santos defended his decision to dismiss the former mayor to Caracol, stating that although he had not liked Inspector General Alejandro Ordeñez’s decision, he had to defend the institutions that are the foundation of the Colombian judicial system. “The law is the law and must be applied,” he said.
When the Colombian president informed Petro of his decision to sign the dismissal, relations quickly broke down. Petro behaved “aggressively,” and “virtually declared war,” a reaction which seemed “exaggerated” to Santos.
Petro took to his Twitter page a few hours after Santos’s interview.
“I did not declare war. I declare peace. The only war valid in Colombia is the war against corruption, Mr. President.”
Yo no declaró guerra. Declaro la paz. La única guerra válida en Colombia, es la guerra contra la corrupción señor Presidente.
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) abril 1, 2014
His message on the social media account has already been shared almost a thousand times within two hours.
- Santos dijo que Petro le declaró la guerra luego de ser destituído (Radio Santa Fe)
- Petro me declaró la guerra cuando le informé sobre la destitución: Santos (Caracol)
- “Yo no declaré la guerra”: Petro sobre declaraciones de presidente Santos (Caracol)
- Petro me dijo que practicamente me declaraba la guerra: Santos (El Heraldo)