During his visit to China, President Gustavo Petro, in addition to holding meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, met with part of the consortium that will build the Bogotá metro. There, the local president stated that one of the companies in charge of the implementation of the first line in Bogotá is ready to discuss the changes of the project together.
In the interest of stopping the work as it is, the president is leading against his predecessor. “When I became president, I did not find any studies on the subway in advanced engineering and I have not received this time. It has been nine years since I myself handed over the underground metro studies to the national government,” he said, referring to the Duque government.
Likewise, from Hawaii, where he stopped on his way back to the country, Petro raised the idea of holding a referendum to let the population know the fate of the project of movement.
For her part, Mayor Claudia López spoke and questioned the president’s visit to the Asian giant: “The president should have survived the trip. (…) In fact, with the representatives of that company we sat in January of this year in the Palacio de Nariño, looking at the same alternatives that came out to propose to the President. President, don’t be insulted, the subway has no reverse and Bogotá is respected,” he said.
In an interview with SEMANA, former President Iván Duque pointed to the visit of Gustavo Petro to China and questioned the failures that the work was going through, as well as the clash between the president and Mayor Claudia López:
WEEK: How do you see President Gustavo Petro’s visit to China?
Iván Duque (ID).: China is a country that is the second trading partner of Colombia and a country that makes important investments in our country. I believe that what we need to do is to continue to maintain many aspects that have been done by my government and even before: the access of Colombian meat to China, the development of flower exports, the increase in exports of agricultural products, that is very important, but also to identify the value-added chain.
Colombia needs to continue to close the trade deficit and also attract investment, so I think it’s important. Obviously, the policy outlined in Colombia should be continued there, which is the establishment of commercial alliances and investment alliances with China to maintain an almost unique and particular dimension of a bilateral relationship that is more strategic for both countries.
SEMANA: The main topic of that visit was the subway and before that you had an important role. Tell us, what is the context of the discussion we saw today between the president and Mayor Claudia López?
ID: Another clumsiness is that it is not the president of the Republic who designs a subway, it is not the president who says how to build a subway and there is a contract executed with more than 25%, where it has a raised line. There is a second line that will be underground, which again has all the approval processes.
Then it is hard to try to put pressure on the president of the Chinese companies to end the validation of a position that is not currently supported by the contract, because the only thing that can harm the city, the delay in The work or, simply, what the president is looking for, is to try to disrupt and postpone the process of the metro in Bogotá for the resources that the Government plans to use for other purposes.
SEMANA: President Petro more or less said that you are responsible for the collapse of the underground subway. What was his answer?
We accompanied Mayor Claudia López to start the work, which is 25% complete, where we have patios, workshops and more. We support the second line process, which is an underground process.
What we have here is the stubbornness of a person who ordered studies to be carried out in vain, and he spent money on studies that do not currently cover the structure of the process and project of the metro and if who wants , stubborn, to undermine the people of Bogotá to try to gain a point regarding some useless studies and, in this way, to try to confuse the process so that what he wants that can be done and not technically proven, it can be done, it is not very expensive and it is effective for the city of the first metro line.