Gustavo Petro, a former insurgent fighter, has been sworn in as Colombia’s first left-wing president.
The previous member of the M-19 armed group took his oath of workplace in Bogotá’s Bolivar Plaza on Sunday afternoon, pledging to unite the polarized nation within the battle towards inequality and local weather change and to attain peace with insurgent teams and gangs. crime.
His inauguration was attended by about 100,000 friends, together with Spain’s King Felipe VI, at the very least 9 Latin American presidents and different Colombians invited by Petro.
“I do not need two nations, identical to I do not need two societies. I desire a sturdy, simply and united Colombia,” stated an emotional Petro in his inaugural deal with. “The challenges and assessments we face as a nation require a interval of basic unity and consensus.”
Petro, a 62-year-old former senator, has promised this reviving the broken peace negotiations with the rebels of the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) and apply to the 2016 peace agreement to former FARC members who reject it.
His overseas minister has stated the federal government will maintain dialogue with the gangs and doubtlessly give members diminished sentences in alternate for details about drug trafficking.
Armed teams should settle for that settlement, Petro stated.
“We name on all those that are armed to go away their arms within the fog of the previous. To simply accept authorized advantages in alternate for peace, in alternate for the last word non-recurrence of violence,” Petro informed the cheering crowd gathered below a shiny Andean solar.
He additionally referred to as for a brand new worldwide technique to battle drug trafficking, saying the US-led conflict on medication has failed.
“It’s time for a brand new worldwide conference that acknowledges that the conflict on medication has failed, that it has left a million Latin Individuals lifeless in 40 years, and that it leaves 70,000 North Individuals lifeless from overdoses yearly. The conflict on medication strengthened the mafia and weakened the states,” he stated.
Local weather change should be fought internationally, however particularly by the nations that emit probably the most greenhouse gases, Petro added, saying that Colombia will transition to an economic system with out coal or oil.
IN campaign trailPetro stated Colombia would cease issuing new oil exploration licenses and cease fracking initiatives, though the oil business accounts for nearly 50 p.c of the nation’s authorized exports. He plans to fund social spending with a $10 billion-a-year tax reform that might increase taxes on the rich and get rid of company tax breaks.
Petro has additionally stated that a prime precedence is preventing starvation within the nation of 50 million folks, the place practically half of the inhabitants lives at a poverty degree. He has additionally promised modifications to free public college training and well being care, and has constructed a broad congressional coalition of left-wing and center-right events to go his platform.
The brand new president begins from an “enviable place, with a big majority in Congress and, when it comes to the highway, the help that no authorities has had lately,” analyst Jorge Restrepo of the Useful resource Heart for Battle Evaluation. company.
However others stated Petro ought to prioritize his political objectives.
“He has a really formidable agenda,” stated Yan Basset, a political scientist at Bogota’s Rosario College. “However he should have precedence. The hazard that Petro faces is that he goes after too many reforms on the identical time and will get nothing” by means of Colombia’s congress.
New Vice President Francia Marquez, an environmental activist and former home employee, is the primary Afro-Colombian girl to carry the publish. Their cupboard contains an internationally famend professor, Jose Antonio Ocampo, as finance minister and an educational who researches the destructive impacts of industries as mining minister. The Ministry of Labor can be headed by the top of the Communist Get together of Colombia.
1000’s of supporters celebrated in Bogota and on large screens arrange in public locations throughout the nation.
“I did not imagine I might dwell to see this lastly occur,” stated Nelson Molina, a 56-year-old plumber sporting a Petro T-shirt and hat. “I do know we cannot change in a single day, that is just the start.”
Teams of individuals have been additionally celebrating on each side of the Colombia-Venezuela border, with dozens gathered on both facet of a crossing level on the Simon Bolivar Bridge outdoors the Colombian metropolis of Cucuta.
Petro, a former mayor of Bogota, has promised simply that the reopening of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, permitting the resumption of commerce between the 2 nations and consular providers.
Petro’s first order as president was for the army to deliver the sword of Latin American liberation hero Simon Bolivar – stolen by Petro’s former M-19 comrades in 1974 – to be displayed within the sq., after his predecessor Ivan Duque didn’t authorize its use within the ceremony.