Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
The career of Gustavo Petro, mayor of Bogotá, is on the line after allegations that he mismanaged the city’s waste collection contracts. While global media is focused on the implications for the peace talks with the Farc, Melanie Samson, Federico Parra and Olga Abizaid of WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) argue that focusing on how this action is bound up in the fate of informal recyclers reveals the challenges faced by local governments everywhere in creating more just and equitable cities. Bogotá’s garbage crisis is not evidence of the inherent incompetence of the state. Instead it reveals how the beneficiaries of privatisation engaged in dirty politics to prevent a democratically elected government from ending a system that paid them huge profits, but cost the city’s residents a fortune. Municipalities elsewhere face similar vested interests and challenges in reversing privatisation.
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