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HomeNewsEx-rebel sworn in as Colombia’s president in historic shift

Ex-rebel sworn in as Colombia’s president in historic shift



BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s first leftist president will probably be sworn into workplace Sunday, promising to combat inequality and heralding a turning level within the historical past of a rustic haunted by an extended battle between the federal government and guerrilla teams.

Sen. Gustavo Petro, a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, gained the presidential election in June by beating conservative events that provided average adjustments to the market-friendly financial system, however failed to attach with voters pissed off by rising poverty and violence in opposition to human rights leaders and environmental teams in rural areas.

Petro is a part of a rising group of leftist politicians and political outsiders who’ve been successful elections in Latin America because the pandemic broke out and damage incumbents who struggled with its financial aftershocks.

The ex-rebel’s victory was additionally distinctive for Colombia, the place voters had been traditionally reluctant to again leftist politicians who had been typically accused of being tender on crime or allied with guerrillas.

A 2016 peace deal between Colombia’s authorities and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia turned a lot of the main target of voters away from the violent conflicts taking part in out in rural areas and gave prominence to issues like poverty and corruption, fueling the recognition of leftist events in nationwide elections.

Petro, 62, has promised to sort out Colombia’s social and financial inequalities by boosting spending on anti-poverty packages and growing funding in rural areas. He has described U.S.-led antinarcotics insurance policies, such because the compelled eradication of unlawful coca crops, as a “huge failure.” However he has mentioned he want to work with Washington “as equals,” constructing schemes to fight local weather change or carry infrastructure to rural areas the place many farmers say coca leaves are the one viable crop.

Petro additionally shaped alliances with environmentalists throughout his presidential marketing campaign and has promised to show Colombia right into a “world powerhouse for all times” by slowing deforestation and taking steps to scale back the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The incoming president has mentioned Colombia will cease granting new licenses for oil exploration and can ban fracking tasks, although the oil trade makes up virtually 50% of the nation’s authorized exports. He plans to finance social spending with a $10 billion a yr tax reform that will enhance taxes on the wealthy and dispose of company tax breaks.

Petro has additionally mentioned he desires to begin peace talks with remaining insurgent teams which are presently combating over drug routes, gold mines and different assets deserted by the FARC after their peace take care of the federal government.

“He’s acquired a really bold agenda,” mentioned Yan Basset, a political scientist at Bogota’s Rosario College. “However he should prioritize. The chance Petro faces is that he goes after too many reforms directly and will get nothing” via Colombia’s congress.

A minimum of 10 heads of state are anticipated to attend Petro’s inauguration, which is able to happen at a big colonial-era sq. in entrance of Colombia’s Congress. Levels with stay music and massive screens will even be positioned in parks throughout Bogota’s metropolis heart in order that tens of hundreds of residents with out invites to the primary occasion also can be part of within the festivities. That’s an enormous change for Colombia the place earlier presidential inaugurations had been extra somber occasions restricted to a couple hundred VIP visitors.

“We would like the Colombian individuals to be the protagonists,” Petro’s press chief, Marisol Rojas, mentioned in a press release. “This inauguration would be the first style of a brand new type of governing, the place all types of life are revered, and the place everybody suits in.”




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