Gustavo Petro takes office this Sunday as Colombia’s first leftist president | World

Colombia begins this Sunday (6th) a new political era with the inauguration of Gustavo Petro, the first leftist president in the country’s history.

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Petro promises to implement transformations in a nation of 50 million inhabitants marked by social inequality and the violence of drug trafficking.

Who is Gustavo Petro?  Ex-guerrilla becomes Colombia's first leftist president

Who is Gustavo Petro? Ex-guerrilla becomes Colombia’s first leftist president

Gustavo Petro — Photo: REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo

The 62-year-old former senator abandoned the armed struggle three decades ago and for the past 20 years has been one of the leaders of the opposition. He will take the oath of office at 15:00 in Bogotá (17:00 GMT), in front of international guests. Petro will receive the government of Iván Duque.

President-elect wants environmental justice

“The first government that we hope will be of peace will begin. That can bring to Colombia what it hasn’t had for centuries, which is tranquility and peace. Here begins a government that will fight for environmental justice,” Petro said on Saturday at an event. in Bogotá.

He takes over with a series of reforms in mind and the expectations of half the country that voted for him in the June 19 runoff.

Alongside Petro, environmentalist Francia Márquez, 40, will be sworn in as the first black vice president. The country was only ruled by elite white men.

Colombia thus begins a period of change, with a leftist in the presidency, a Congress in its favor and a weakened opposition after the overthrow of former president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), the de facto leader of the right.

Petro comes from an “enviable position, with a large majority in Congress and, in terms of the street, he has a support that no government has had in recent years”, says analyst Jorge Restrepo, from the Resource Center for Conflict Analysis.

The president-elect announced a cabinet of diverse tendencies, with women in charge of several ministries and the mission to execute diverse reforms.

Among the promised changes is the project to raise taxes for the richest, adjust the collection and tax sugar drinks, in search of funds for social plans.

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