Major Colombian newspaper reveals Bogotá mayor does not hold claimed PhD degree

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On Thursday, an article in newspaper El Espectador of Bogotá, Colombia accused the current mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, of falsely claiming to have completed a PhD degree in Public Administration at the University of Paris.

According to the report by Juana Afanador and Carlos Carrillo, the library of the University of Paris II does not have a doctoral thesis written by Enrique Peñalosa. In response to the article Peñalosa quickly said he never claimed he held a PhD degree and that a communication error with his political campaign team led them to include such claim in the political advertisements of his campaign for Mayor of Bogota. He said he actually took a DESS (Diploma of Advanced Studies ((fr))French language: ‍Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées) in Public Administration from the University of Paris II which some people might have interpreted as a Doctorate.

The reporters also identified two books written by the political leader which include a biography where he clearly states he holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Paris. Additionally, Brazilian newspaper O Globo quoted Mr Peñalosa in September: "I was born in Washington DC, am 60 and gave up US citizenship at 21. I am married with two children. I graduated as an economist and historian with a doctorate in Paris." ((pt))Portuguese language: ‍Nasci em Washington, DC, tenho 60 anos e renunciei à cidadania americana aos 21. Sou casado, com dois filhos. Formei-me economista e historiador, com Ph.D. em Paris.