12 Jan 2014

Sacked mayor urges supporters to occupy the squares

6:42 am on 12 January 2014

Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro has warned he will mobilise his supporters and occupy public squares in the Colombian capital indefinitely if his recent sacking is confirmed.

Mr Petro was dismissed by Colombia's top prosecutor last month and banned from holding public office for 15 years.

The reason given by Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez was mismanagement of the capital's rubbish-collection service.

The BBC reports Mr Petro has appealed against the decision, but if he is unsuccessful, new mayoral elections will be held.

Mr Petro says he is the victim of a right-wing coup and has called his removal unlawful and politically motivated.

''If we don't come to these squares, it will be the end of democracy and our chance for peace,'' he told supporters in Bolivar Square on Friday.

In 2012, rubbish was left uncollected in Bogota for several days due to failures in the system.