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

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

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s first leftist president will probably be sworn into place of job Sunday, promising to combat inequality and heralding a turning level in the historical past of a rustic haunted by means of a protracted conflict between the federal government and guerrilla teams.

Sen. Gustavo Petro, a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla team, received the presidential election in June by means of beating conservative events that presented reasonable adjustments to the market-friendly financial system, however failed to connect to electorate annoyed by means of emerging poverty and violence towards human rights leaders and environmental teams in rural spaces.

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

The ex-rebel’s victory used to be additionally outstanding for Colombia, the place electorate were traditionally reluctant to again leftist politicians who have been frequently accused of being cushy on crime or allied with guerrillas.

A 2016 peace deal between Colombia’s govt and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia grew to become a lot of the focal point of electorate clear of the violent conflicts enjoying out in rural spaces and gave prominence to issues like poverty and corruption, fueling the recognition of leftist events in nationwide elections.

Petro, 62, has promised to take on Colombia’s social and financial inequalities by means of boosting spending on anti-poverty systems and lengthening funding in rural spaces. He has described U.S.-led antinarcotics insurance policies, such as the pressured eradication of unlawful coca plants, as a “big failure.” But he has mentioned he want to paintings with Washington “as equals,” development schemes to fight local weather alternate or carry infrastructure to rural spaces 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 “global powerhouse for life” by means of slowing deforestation and taking steps to scale back the rustic’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The incoming president has mentioned Colombia will forestall granting new licenses for oil exploration and can ban fracking tasks, even supposing the oil trade makes up nearly 50% of the country’s felony exports. He plans to finance social spending with a $10 billion a 12 months tax reform that may spice up taxes at the wealthy and eliminate company tax breaks.

Petro has additionally mentioned he needs to begin peace talks with closing insurgent teams which can be recently combating over drug routes, gold mines and different sources deserted by means of the FARC after their peace take care of the federal government.

“He’s got a very ambitious agenda,” mentioned Yan Basset, a political scientist at Bogota’s Rosario University. “But he will have to prioritize. The risk Petro faces is that he goes after too many reforms at once and gets nothing” via Colombia’s congress.

At least 10 heads of state are anticipated to wait Petro’s inauguration, which can happen at a big colonial-era sq. in entrance of Colombia’s Congress. Stages with are living tune and massive monitors may also be positioned in parks throughout Bogota’s town heart in order that tens of 1000’s of voters with out invites to the principle tournament too can sign up for in the festivities. That’s a large alternate for Colombia the place earlier presidential inaugurations have been extra somber occasions restricted to a couple of hundred VIP visitors.

“We want the Colombian people to be the protagonists,” Petro’s press leader, Marisol Rojas, mentioned in a observation. “This inauguration will be the first taste of a new form of governing, where all forms of life are respected, and where everyone fits in.”

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