jueves, 27 de diciembre de 2012

Former president deplores mayor's "experiments" in Bogotá

Colombia's former president Ernesto Samper accused Bogotá's Leftist mayor Gustavo Petro on 27 December of "destabilizing" the capital and dividing its residents while experimenting with his socialist "booklet at the city's expense," RCN La Radio reported. Petro, a Leftist politician and briefly a Marxist guerrilla in the 1980s, became mayor in January 2012 and has followed an agenda to recuperate municipal prerogatives. Samper, a president in the 1990s, alleged on RCN radio that Petro was using the city to "set up a national project of a socialist nature." The mayor has been criticized for his plans to have the city retake full control of rubbish collection, previously contracted out. The ill-prepared transition and dearth of vehicles led to the accumulation of trash in the capital's streets for several days as the new system began technically on 18 December. Samper dismissed the scheme as Petro's "whim," adding "it is like returning to the 50s and 60s. That is returning to Soviet Stalinism. The city has gone back 25 or 30 years." On 25 December, the city's new waste-management firm Aguas de Bogotá reduced the number of districts where it would collect waste - having insufficient vehicles - and agreed to re-distribute zones to private firms formerly involved in cleaning, Lime, Atesa, Aseo Capital and Ciudad Limpia, "in principle for a month," the broadcaster Caracol reported. Meanwhile 25 used waste-collection and cleaning vehicles imported from the United States were in the port of Cartagena and might remain there until January 2013 as importation legalities were being checked and vehicles disinfected, El Tiempo reported. Some vehicles were reported to have potentially hazardous plant and trash residues. The Bogotá government signed contracts on 7 and 13 December to import 160 trash-collection vehicles for Aguas de Bogotá, El Tiempo stated. Separately Colombia's director of public prosecutions (Fiscal-General) Eduardo Montealegre Lynett was reported as stating that his office had begun a "preliminary investigation" to discern possible legal violations in the trash-collection plan. Montealegre said "I have designated a very senior official to evaluate the complaint lodged against the mayor and determine whether or not the actions attributed to the mayor of Bogotá have criminal relevance," Caracol radio reported on 27 December. The state prosecution service would also look for contractual irregularities and environmental violations and state its decision in January, he said.

Minister says Peru has "refined" conflict resolution

Peru's prime minister, Juan Jiménez Mayor, said on 27 December that the government was achieving "important results" with a "much refined strategy" to resolve social conflicts like the mining conflicts that provoked deaths in July 2012. Jiménez said the situation with such conflicts was "completely different" and that 20 unspecified disputes had in recent months left the "crisis radar," El Peruano reported. He attributed the success to the creation of the National Office for Dialogue and Sustainability of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers or prime minister's office (Oficina nacional de diálogo y sostenibilidad de la Presidencia del consejo de ministros); the office he said had forged a preventive strategy in social disputes with emphasis on dialogue. Peru's ombudsman had recognized the improved situation, he said in a television interview.