Festive Left Friday Blogging: Democracy comes to Colombia…


…whether the Colombian oligarchy wants it or not. This is nothing if not heartening:

Thousands of Colombians today offered massive support to the mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, recently removed from office and prohibited from politics for 15 years, in a large mobilization for peace and democracy in Bolívar Square.

Bogotans, in company with peasants, indigenous people, workers and social organizations from other parts of the country, united to support the capital city’s mayor, as they did last Monday, when the Procurator General sanctioned Petro for irregularities in implementing a new sanitation program for the city in 2012.

From the beginning, hundreds of city residents called the dismissal unjust, and affirmed that the procurator, Alejandro Ordóñez, has violated their rights. “I didn’t vote for the procurator, I voted for Petro”, they say.

Last night the mayor called for a peaceful march, with love and fraternity, in an historic mobilization for democracy, and denounced that violent individuals were looking to infiltrate the marches in order to silence “the peaceful voice of the people”.

It is also expected that in this demonstration the indigenous guard would attend. They were detained by police in Calarca, in the central department of Quindío, while travelling to Bogotá yesterday, according to one of their leaders, Feliciano Valencia.

In a Twitter message, Valencia denounced that members of the police immobilized their vehicles with excuses of a supposed mechanical check.

“There are pressures from the central government to impede the arrival of citizens to the mobilization in defence of democracy,” he announced.

Along with the march in Bogotá, there are also days of protest in support of Petro planned for other parts of the country, such as Barranquilla.

Translation mine.

Meanwhile, president Juan Manuel Santos has been put on notice; and, in contrast to his putschist predecessor, he has announced a decision to meet with Petro. Let’s wait and see what comes of it, and hope he has better sense than El Narco.

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