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LatinAmerican Post had the opportunity to speak exclusively with the pre-candidate of the Democratic Center political party for Bogota's mayor, Diego Molano
Diego Molano has more than 20 years of experience in public and private positions. He has been councilor of Bogotá since 2016, director of the ICBF, director of the Bavaria Foundation, coordinator of Plan Colombia in 2003, among others. Molano talked to the LatinAmerican Post team about his proposals as a candidate for the Bogota city hall.
Leer en español: Alcaldía de Bogotá: estas son las propuestas de Diego Molano
LatinAmerican Post: What difference does your government plan have with the other candidates for the Democratic Center?
Diego Molano: My candidacy represents experience. I have 23 years of experience in public service, in private companies. The difference with the other candidates is my disposition and experience with results towards managing a city like Bogotá. Regarding the proposals, what we are working on is how to improve the quality of life of all Bogota citizens. The quality of life is based on security, to live without fear; have mobility, to move again with dignity and additionally sustainability which is the great bet, because for me sustainability means an economy in Bogota, that generates investment, has employment, protects the environment and allows to create a robust social policy that empowers the citizens.
LP: What will ensure that you will be the candidate for the Democratic Center and more so now that Paloma Valencia announced her support for Samuel Hoyos?
DM: The Democratic Center has announced that it has three candidates, and each member of the party is free to carry out political support, but the choice of who will be the candidate will be given by the citizens through a poll that will take place soon. The important thing is who has the citizen support, who has the experience, who has the knowledge and the career path. What the party wants is a candidate who represents the party and who not only wins a poll but wins the mayoralty. In that aspect, I believe that I have the knowledge, the experience and the capacity to do it. Besides, I not only have the support of the citizenship but also the support of María Fernanda Cabal and Óscar Iván Zuluaga.
LP: How will you convince the people of Bogota to vote for a Democratic Center candidate, considering that Bogotá is a city of apparent free vote?
DM: Bogotá is a demanding, independent and rebellious electorate. That does not mean that the Democratic Center cannot conquer the hearts of citizens. But this is won by proposals, understanding them, going through the streets. Bogota citizens are tired of a polarization between left and right, which in the end did not improve the quality of life of any. I want to be of that generation that builds, because politics is to build with all citizens solutions in terms of security, mobility. I believe that I have the ability to convince, to conquer the hearts of Bogota citizens to support this proposal.
Maybe you are interested in reading: Meet Diego Molano, precandidate to the city of Bogotá
On the subject of security Molano is clear that one of the main problems with respect to security is micro-trafficking. "Micro-trafficking has taken over parks, it has taken young people (...) we are losing a full generation of young people, which are used by criminal gangs to steal. It is necessary to dismantle these gangs through the help of the creation of a police force for Bogotá, which is trained only for aspects of the city. Currently, there is a deficit of police officers, in turn, they take care of us around 6,000 when we are 8,000,000 million inhabitants. What we want is for these policemen to stay in Bogotá and be under the command of the National Police.
LP: Speaking of this deficit, how would you recruit these people?
DM: The first thing is to assign resources. To be able to finance at least 4,000 additional policemen, the budget has to increase to 1 billion pesos. How are they recruited? You go through the neighborhoods in Bogotá and ask a young person 'what do you want to do?' and many have the option of being police officers. I am sure that there are young people who with motivation, pride and willingness towards the police would be willing to provide a service to the city.
LP: Much has been said about the carrying of weapons, do you agree with that?
DM: I do not agree with the carrying of weapons. The monopoly of weapons should be in the entities of the military forces of the State.
With regard to mobility, he says that we must bet on sustainable mobility. The fundamental thing in Bogotá is to advance in infrastructure to have a transportation system that moves as many people from Bogota as possible in a dignified and efficient manner.
In relation to the subway, he affirms that "as mayor, I will execute the projects that are already in place. No more discussions. The subway is already designed, it is an elevated one and what I have said is that I do not promise it, I deliver it. "During his tenure, he also plans to deliver the Transmilenio works for the 68, and the Ciudad de Cali avenue, with this he will be able to give dynamics to the city again.
On the other hand, he affirms the need to advance in electric mobility, which is the great bet to the future. There is a modality in electric mobility in which Bogota has to go up, but for that you need to put automation, connectivity, to be able to modernize public transport.
Among its proposals, there is also the creation of a Vía Democrática Expresa (VDE), in which electric public transport is prioritized, but it also provides solutions to the productivity of the city for those who want to go faster. The idea is that through the VDE, which will run from the 220 to the exit of the south highway through the NQS, which will be integrated with the train, Bogota citizens will have the possibility to pay for a fast lane or stay in a slow lane that is not paid. The other lane is a more ecological one with a bike path and pedestrianization.
LP: It is a very ambitious plan, how will it be achieved in your government?
DM: The point is that the projects are already in place. The next mayor has a very big responsibility to execute the works. The constructian cannot have a political color. The constructions are from the city
For Molano, the Simplified Unified Regime, present in the last tax reform of President Iván Duque and in which micro, small and medium-sized companies are joined by the payment of several taxes, "Bogotá must be championed. This is done with the formalization of informal companies, which simplifies the issues of their taxes, and the more jobs they generate, the more taxes are reduced. We need employment to emerge from the local".
With the incentive to generate employment, what is done is that it serves the merchant, the small industrialist, the microenterprise, empowers young people and activates the local labor market and avoids so many trips in the city.
Free Digital Education
Within the educational proposals is the creation of a Public and Digital University, with which it is expected "a universalization of higher education. To achieve this, it's time to innovate. A Public Digital University should be a network between private and public Universities to create digital education in the careers of the future. Digital education allows the democratization of higher education, which the city should lead," concludes Molano.
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "Alcaldía de Bogotá: estas son las propuestas de Diego Molano"