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Santos Reinstates Ousted Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree reinstating Gustavo Petro as Mayor of Bogota, one month after dismissing the former guerrilla, in accordance with a court ruling yesterday.

“My duty as president has been, is, and always will be to uphold the law,” Santos said on his Twitter feed.

Santos signed a decree removing Petro from office on March 19, ignoring a request from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights to suspend the ouster.

Shares in Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota SA, the city-owned phone company, fell 3.5 percent to 411 pesos, bringing its decline this week to 8.3 percent. The shares had previously rallied on speculation that the removal of Petro, who opposes privatizing the company, would lead ETB to seek a strategic partner.

The Inspector General’s Office ruled in December that Petro be removed from his position and banned from public office for 15 years following the mismanagement of garbage collection in Colombia’s capital. The decision led to protests in Bogota’s main plaza.

Previous Mayor Samuel Moreno was suspended from office in 2011 in connection with a graft probe involving alleged kickbacks from government contractors.

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