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Antanas Mockus

Global Faculty in Residence, Fall 2015

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Colombian mathematician, philosopher, and politician Antanaus Mockus left his post as rector of Colombian National University in Bogotá in 1993, and later the same year ran a successful campaign for mayor in the city. He proceeded to preside over Bogotá as mayor for two terms, during which time he initiated creative scenarios to address some of Bogotá’s problems, including hiring mimes to control traffic and make fun of traffic violators. He also initiated a "Night for Women," on which the city's men were asked to stay home for an evening to look after the house and the children. Under his leadership, the city sponsored free open-air concerts, bars offered women-only specials, and the city's women police were in charge of keeping the peace. Under his leadership, Bogotá saw remarkable improvement across the board–water usage dropped 40%, 7000 community security groups were formed and the homicide rate fell 70%, traffic fatalities dropped by over 50%, drinking water was provided to all homes (up from 79% in 1993), and sewage was provided to 95% of homes (up from 71%).