NewsWorldWho is Gustavo Petro, the leftist candidate who is...

Who is Gustavo Petro, the leftist candidate who is trying for the third time to reach the presidency of Colombia

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Who is Gustavo Petro and what is the change he proposes for Colombia? 8:16 (CNN Spanish) – Gustavo Petro (born in 1960 in Ciénaga de Oro, Córdoba, in northern Colombia) is the official candidate of the left who will compete again for the Presidency of Colombia. With an electoral flow of some 4.4 million after the internal consultation of the left, the Historical Pact, Petro has the challenge of leaving behind the image of his opponents of being a leader of recalcitrant ideas and attitudes, and trying to unite the progressive sectors to govern the country. In his third attempt to reach the most important position in Colombia, Gustavo Petro carries the burden of having been a member of a guerrilla group that led to one of the worst tragedies in the country’s history, the seizure of the Palace of Justice (despite of not having participated directly), but at the same time of being one of the most important political leaders in the recent history of the Latin American nation. Petro defines himself as a “progressive” leftist leader in a highly traditional and right-wing country. He proposes making the economy “revolve around life”, betting on natural wealth and environmental protection, as well as “deepen democracy”, and make an economic structure “based on production and not on extraction” , as he said in an interview with CNN in July 2021. “It is not possible to have a Latin America —call it left or right— that lives by extracting gas, oil or copper. The only possibility of sustainable development in Latin America is knowledge is production,” he told CNN in July 2021. Gustavo Petro, a left-wing candidate, achieves a high vote in Colombia 4:32 In the 2022 campaign, the left-wing leader approached unthinkable sectors for his campaigns such as the evangelical pastor Alfredo Saade, who participated in the consultation of the Historical Pact. Director of the Christian social movement ARISE Alfredo Saade coordinates with @petrogustavo and his team the participation of Christians in #PactoHistorico
We know that it is time to start writing the new history of COLOMBIA @ClaraLopezObre @AABenedetti @josejulianrc pic.twitter.com/B1QCbZXHeQ — ALFREDO SAADE (@ALFREDOSAADEV) September 11, 2021 Even after his victory this Sunday in internal consultations and when the coalition of the Historical Pact obtained a high vote in the legislative elections (16 senators and 25 representatives to the Chamber, according to the pre-count of the Registrar), a calm and smiling Petro was seen, confident that he will be president in the first back, betting on a change of policy in the country: “We want change to appear, transformation,” he told a crowd of supporters in Bogotá on Sunday night. The final stage of the elections is missing, but analysts agree that the result of the consultations indicates that the political sector headed by Petro has real options of reaching the Executive. “Only with the number of votes that the leftist coalition got, which is almost three times greater than the rightist one, I would tell you that everything is organized as if for the first time in a long time the left is rising to power in Colombia,” international analyst Inés Capdevila said on CNN. The image of Gustavo Petro in Colombia Petro represents one of the antagonistic political extremes of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, a polarization that many say they are tired of, according to surveys at the time when there was a willingness to vote blank in the face of the second back in 2018. And the strength that its millions of voters give it has a counterweight in sectors that prefer to vote for the right because they see Petro as a threat to the status quo. “Colombia is a very conservative country where somehow there is a collective idea that a big change is a leap into the abyss,” Jorge Andrés Hernández, a Bogotá-based political analyst and author of the podcast Política y Tabú, told CNN. Petro’s opponents call him populist and authoritarian. During the 2018 political campaign, members of the Democratic Center party (of current President Iván Duque) said that, under his eventual government, Colombia would suffer the same fate as Venezuela. The most radical sectors of the right have characterized his image as a communist, even though he defines himself as a progressive leftist. And in addition to the fact that he represents change not only by talking about possible social and economic reforms, there is also a whole series of conspiracies around him, according to the analysts consulted. Two candidates for the Democratic Center party for Congress are campaigning on “stopping Petro.” Neither Edward Rodríguez nor Daniel Orozco achieved enough votes to be elected to Congress. (Credit: DANIEL MUNOZ/AFP via Getty Images) According to Jorge Andrés Hernández, there is a whole thread of very strong propaganda against Petro promoted by more conservative and traditional sectors such as the evangelical churches that say that Petro “is going to bring homosexuality, he is going to bring communism is going to bring Satan”, something that is pure “conspiracy theories of fear of change”, according to Jorge Andrés Hernández. And Petro, like his nemesis, former President Uribe, is a politician of love and hate. “He generates mixed visceral passions: there are people who idolize him to death, who adore him, and there are people who hate him with all their heart,” says Jorge Andrés Hernández. And the candidate has not been free of controversy within his own movement, in particular with the feminist sector that has criticized him for not sanctioning macho behavior within his ranks and for criticizing the feminist movement, when he assured in the Spanish newspaper El País that this movement “has remained with the old traditional left in the intellectual sphere of the big city, without links with the population”. However, Petro has later said that “feminism is the future, the country and the path to change.” Petro’s political career Politics has been transversal to Gustavo Petro. At 61 years old, he has taken a step through public life that has led him to be a representative and councilor of Zipaquirá, a guerrilla, a representative to the Chamber, an attaché of the Colombian embassy in Belgium, mayor of Bogotá and a Colombian senator for two terms. He is methodical when speaking. Stoic, slow, theoretical. There are those who describe him as proud, self-sufficient, conceited, and his political enemies have compared him to the presidents of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, and have even called him an atheist (despite the fact that he has said he believes in God) to alienate him from voters in a largely Catholic country. Petro continues to be stigmatized by his political rivals for his time in the M-19 guerrilla, an urban guerrilla of socialist origin, which he joined in his youth. The M-19 gave many blows of opinion such as the theft of the weapons of the Army of the North Canton (1978), a military fortress, through a tunnel, and in a “symbolic” act, recalls Petro”, the M-19 he stole Bolívar’s sword. “Whose sword was it?” recalls Petro. “The sword was none other than the people’s. And she was really kidnapped,” she said in an interview with journalist Carolina Sanín on the television program Mesa Capital. On the day of the signing of the peace agreement with the M-19 in 1990, the guerrilla group returned Bolívar’s sword. Re-election , uribismo and scandals: what do Petro, Fico and Hernández say? 4:35 But that group, the M-19, was the same one that took over the Palace of Justice on November 6, 1985 in downtown Bogotá. days, the insurgents held 350 hostages, including magistrates, judicial employees and visitors. After the military operation to retake control of the building, 98 people died and 11 more were declared missing. But Petro has maintained that he did not participate in this takeover. “When the events of the violent takeover of the Palace of Justice took place and the even greater, much more violent retaking of the State of the Palace of Justice, I was being tortured in an Army cavalry in the city of Bogotá. I was a boy back then and I went to jail after the torture,” Petro told CNN previously. After demobilizing from the M-19, Petro was an adviser to the Cundinamarca government and a representative to the Chamber in the 1990s. For security reasons he had to go into exile and was appointed a diplomat by the Samper government in 1994 and had a failed attempt to be mayor of Bogotá in 1997. Later, he managed to be elected representative to the Chamber in 2002. In 2006 he took the step to the Senate for the Polo Democrático Alternativo party.The mayor’s office of Bogotá and the resurgence of PetroThousands of demonstrators protested against the dismissal of the mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro in December 2010 in the Plaza de Bolívar in Bogotá. (Credit: GUILLERMO LEGARIA /AFP via Getty Images) After years in the Senate, with Petro being recognized as one of the most prominent senators in the country after uncovering atrocious scandals such as ‘parapolitics’ (infiltration of paramilitaries in the po lytic) and the so-called false positives (extrajudicial killings by the Army), in 2011 he won the elections for mayor of Bogotá. After a disciplinary investigation for handling a crisis related to the city’s garbage collection system, he was dismissed by the Attorney General’s Office for 15 years to hold public office in 2013. “Basically I move between either they dismiss me or they They revoke or put me in jail. Total is that there is no message in the sense that I can govern, “Petro told CNN en Español at the time. But what could be read as a “political death” gave Petro a popular boost that left well-remembered images, with the mayor defending himself in a public square and a crowd filling the Plaza de Bolívar in downtown Bogotá. “That was something we hadn’t seen for decades in Colombia,” said analyst Jorge Andrés Hernández. “And I think it began to shape the image of this politician as one persecuted by the establishment, as one persecuted by the (traditional) political class and in this case also in the State.” According to Jorge Andrés Hernández, the international legal victory before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which ordered his restoration as mayor of Bogotá in 2014, allowed him to catapult himself as the leftist leader that he has built until today. A change of tone between 2018 and 2022 Petro was the second most voted candidate in 2018 against Iván Duque, in a highly polarized campaign in which many chose not to align themselves with either of the two candidates who represented the extremes. Many others, afraid of “being like Venezuela” as the Democratic Center campaign said, voted against Petro, supporting Duque, the current president of Colombia. However, in this campaign, Petro has shown a more moderate tone, criticized by many in his ranks, for uniting with traditional politicians who run the so-called political machines such as former President César Gaviria, who could support him after consultations. internal. And that is due, according to Hernández, to Petro’s attempt to call more sectors and achieve a consensus in the face of a possible second round. “Petro may win the first round, but … in the second round you could almost say that everyone is going to be against him, everyone is going to be against him,” he says. And although the internal consultation allows Petro to breathe easy before starting the final stretch of the campaign in shape, the politician said in July 2021 that he was realistic and that in four years he may not achieve all of his goals. “I cannot be ambitious or false that historically in four years real change can take place in Colombian society and the Colombian State, but we are beginning a transition. Where to? Towards democracy and towards peace,” he pointed out. MEET THE TOP CANDIDATES: This content was published on March 14 and updated on May 26

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