On Tuesday, the Superior Court of Bogota ordered the Colombian president to reinstate Gustavo Petro, following a months-long scandal over the mayor’s controversial dismissal in December 2013.
According to the newspaper El Tiempo, Santos said on Friday that he will challenge the Superior Court of Bogota’s decision, because it “calls into question a decision made by the government.”
“It is obvious that you challenge it,” Santos said.
According to online news outlet Terra Colombia, Justice Minister Alfonso Gomez Mendez recommended the challenge.
The Superior Court of Bogota — a district appellate court — ordered the Santos administration to comply with a ruling issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which called on the Colombian government to suspend a ruling of the country’s Inspector General ordering Petro’s removal.
Gustavo Petro, Bogota’s former mayor, was removed from office in December 2013 due to alleged “irregularities” that were uncovered in his attempts to transfer the city’s privatized garbage collection system into public hands. This allegedly resulted in 9,920 tons of uncollected garbage left on the streets.
As a result, Colombia’s Inspector General, Alejandro Ordoñez, decided to dismiss the city’s mayor and ban him from serving in public office for 15 years.
Since his dismissal, Petro has appealed the decision many times, though all of his “tutelas” or writs of protection were denied by Colombia’s State Council.
Petro has called his dismissal politically motivated and “arbitrary”.
Santos stated on April 8 that if a domestic court orders him to reinstate Petro, he would gladly do so.
“If a judicial authority comes and tells me to reinstate Mayor Petro, I will follow their requests and reinstate him, because that is my obligation. That is what I swore to do,” he said.
Santos’ announcement on Friday follows a recent decision by the Inspector General’s Office, which also said that it would challenge Petro’s reinstatement.