We spoke to Ángela Garzón, candidate for mayor of Bogotá

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The LatinAmerican Post team had the opportunity to speak with the candidate from the party Centro Democrático about her proposals

We spoke to Ángela Garzón, candidate for mayor of Bogotá

For many it was a surprise that Ángela Garzón, current councilor of Bogotá for Centro Democrático, is the official candidate of the party of Álvaro Uribe Vélez for the Mayor's Office of Bogotá. Angela, philosopher of the National University and daughter of former vice president Angelino Garzón, beat Diego Molano and Samuel Hoyos, who was emerging as the favorite, in a poll to have an official candidate.

Leer en español: Entrevistamos a Ángela Garzón, candidata a la Alcaldía de Bogotá

Many see it as a figure far removed from pure blood uribism, and this is why her candidacy is polarized between those who support it -generally those not related to the CD- and those who attack it, mostly militants of the party itself.


LatinAmerican Post had the opportunity to meet at her campaign headquarters to discuss her proposals for the Mayor's Office.

LP: Why did you demand the collection of the valuation?

Ángela Garzón: On December 7, 2018, I filed a nullity claim against the recovery charge, and I also voted 'no' in 2017 when the administration presented it. It has no studies on the economic capacity of taxpayers, which is mandatory for any recovery charge. Nor are they prioritized works in the development plan. There is a work, for example, that is to fix the 134. It is worth 49 billion pesos that can be made with the resources of the District without having to charge the citizens.

Works of previous appraisals that have not been executed are being extended. For all this, we are demanding the valuation. At this moment it is in the administrative court of Bogotá. The judge had declared herself barred since she had a property in the area of influence of valorization, however, the judge 39 determined that there was no impediment and that the judge could fail, so we are waiting for her to pronounce herself.

What we have come out to tell the citizens is that, before paying, review what happened to my claim. In case the judge decides in our favor, and the people have already paid, that refund is a headache. This is nothing new, previous valuations have already been demanded, but less than half of the taxpayers have received the refund.

LP: And if they do not pronounce on your demand?

AG: The deadline to pay the discount valuation is December 16, 2019. There are three lawsuits in progress against this recovery charge and the administrative judges fail faster than the other types of judges, so we will soon have an answer. So we invite you to pay attention to what happens with the demands if you are going to make the recovery payment.

LP: Are you a feminist?

AG: I am a woman and I defend the rights of women, I fight because we have the same political and economic rights as men, I recognize the struggle that many women before me gave. That today there are several candidates for mayor is not free, is the struggle of many women who did not think it fair that we had no right to private property or vote, as was the case less than a century ago. What I will continue to claim are women rights, to be an equitable society, where there is equal wages, because we have a wage gap of 23%, about that I will be working.

LP: Tell me a little more about the 'he for she ' that you propose

AG: To change the global sexist culture, we have to work hand in hand with women and men. It seems to me that the struggle for women rights and their respect needs to grow. This is a worldwide movement. This is an education issue that seeks to break with gender roles; that men also take charge of home, break that ridiculous myth that the woman is only nurse and the doctor man, among others. We must understand that we have the same capacities.

Maybe you're interested in reading: Latin America: 4 women who sweep politics

LP: Education is one of the strong pillars of your candidacy…

AG: Fully, education understood throughout life. Quality education in early childhood, a unique day in district schools, training for work for young people, training topics for older people, since Bogotá is becoming a city of older adults without academic offer. We must recover the civic culture, return to that pride of being a Bogotano who has gradually getting lost. It was my turn, when I was in high school and university, to live this transformation. Bogotá was a very complicated city and it became a pleasant city of which we were proud.

LP: Tell me about the unique day that you propose …

AG: In the present we only have 14% of a single day in the district schools. This includes academic hours and extracurricular activities, where scientific, sports and cultural skills are enhanced. The single day has shown that where it is implemented, the rates of juvenile pregnancy, consumption of psychoactive substances, juvenile delinquency, it is possible to easily detect who suffer from abuse at home. It allows us to develop all the potentialities of young children, that there is such a low percentage of implementation of a single day is a matter of resources, so I propose to invest a lot in education, this in the long term brings us an infinity of benefits, as less crime and more economic development.

LP: You oppose the Transmilenio for the Seventh Avenue…

AG: Neither me nor the party like the TM7. Our bench, three years ago, sent a letter to the mayor which says that the trunk of Ciudad de Cali is priority and the 68th Avenue, trunk feeders of the metro. At this moment, the one that has the highest priority, the one that is closer to being awarded, is precisely that of the Seventh. Neither the citizens agree with this, because there are several manifestations against.

In the same way, if the work is already tendered and is in execution, and I am the mayor, I would have to continue with the work. Otherwise, it would be patrimonial detriment to stop a work that is in progress. However, this is a very complicated work that would take a long time, since the current administration has only acquired 30% of the necessary properties. There is a root problem of property acquisition. I do not like the project, people know it, what I said in the council.

LP: About the elevated meter, what does it say?

AG: The subway is ready, finally Bogota will have its first subway line, what we must discuss now is what other lines the city needs. In the POT a second metro line is proposed, although it should have more proposed lines. It is not included the metrocable of San Cristóbal that is a work designed next to the Metrocable of Ciudad Bolívar. There is no discussion about the need for the tram, which is a tremendous failure.

This subway is ready. We must move forward. I know there are some demands against the development, the legal issues we have to wait to see what happens, but we are ready, we have been waiting for the subway for 70 years but we haven't built a single meter. The first line would be elevated but this does not mean that it is exclusively above the ground: the idea is that it is underground and aerial, as in most cities of the world. Touch is to be aware of how the elevated work harms or improves urban renewal.


LP: You claim to be against bullfighting, although it is not secret that a large part of your party supports them

AG: I say no to the bulls. I am from the animalist bench of the Council and also belonged to several animal groups since before I got into politics. Diego Devia and I are part of the animal group, on behalf of the CD. Also within our party there are several positions found, but fortunately all are respected.

LP: Peñalosa proudly catalogs Bogotá as the bicycle capital of the world, even if bikeriders do not perceive it as such. What do you propose so that Bogotá really becomes world capital of the bicycle?

AG: My priority, in addition to increasing safety and improving citizen culture so that cyclists respect traffic signals, are the cycloparqueaderos. Private parking lots, when they have more than ten seats, must allocate one to bycicles by law. The Transmilenio trunks, all of them, should also have cycloparks. Regarding citizen culture, we must implement pedagogy, more than laws and sanctions.

Here in Bogotá, several cyclists fly red lights, go in the opposite direction and do not realize that they are endangering their lives and betting on a road accident that can affect not only psychologically drivers and pedestrians but also can involuntarily put them in a hellish traffic jam. We must also work on the issue of air, because one of the biggest complaints of bikeriders is the poor quality of air that affects their respiratory systems


LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Vergara

Translated from "Entrevistamos a Ángela Garzó, candidata a la Alcaldía de Bogotá"

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