Antanas Mockus Šivickas

Antanas Mockus Šivickas, the child of Lithuanian immigrants, earned his degree in mathematics in France before applying his unusual political philosophy to Colombian politics as mayor of Bogotá (1995–1998; 2001–2003). While mayor, Mockus developed such innovative undertakings as hiring 420 mimes to mock traffic violators (believing that Colombians feared being ridiculed more than being fined). He also organized a “Women’s Night,” with free outdoor concerts and bars offering women-only specials, while men stayed home with the children and the city’s female police kept the peace. When he asked Bogotá residents to pay an additional 10 percent in taxes, 63,000 did so. Between his mayoral terms, Mockus ran unsuccessfully for president. Prior to serving as mayor, he was a professor, researcher, vice president, and president at the National University of Colombia. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard University and a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Why we love Antanas Mockus Šivickas:

• His non-traditional initiatives were central to the transformation of the traffic-choked, high-crime metropolis Bogota, a city of 7 million people, into one of Latin America’s most livable capitals

• He cares about women’s safety, and also their right to party –and proved it by organizing free outdoor concerts and bar specials for women only, while men stayed home and tended to household duties

• He hired mimes to mock jaywalkers insteading of giving them tickets, significantly reducing traffic violations, and demonstrating that the fear of public humiliation is an effective way to get Colombians to follow the law