Monday, September 26, 2022

Petro Wants to Rule Colombia to Overcome Anti-Petrism

BOGOTÁ ( Associated Press) — Like any unemployed person in Colombia, left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro has printed his resume to run for the presidency for the third time. He publicly reveals himself as a veteran and puts aside his past as a guerrilla, trying to overcome his biggest obstacle: anti-patristic.

Graffiti with the phrase “anyone except Petro” is common in the north of Bogotá. If there is one emotion he needs to overcome, it is the fear of change he wants to bring to a country the Left has never ruled. In 2018, when Petro faced incumbent President Ivan Duque in the ballot, he was unable to overcome resistance due to his figures and warnings from his opponents that Colombia “could become Venezuela.”

Without filling public squares and under the guise of speech, as a president usually does, he tried to leave his opponents unreasonable.

“Be assured that I will not contest again,” he said to the misgivings of those who believe he will subvert democracy and establish himself in power. “He will respect the laws … This includes respecting the right to private property,” he insisted on clarifying that he would not own the property.

When voting begins on Sunday, Colombians will choose between Petro and Rodolfo Hernandez, a 77-year-old real estate tycoon who voted as an underdog with a resolution focused on fighting corruption. Although Petro received 40% of the vote and Hernández 28% in the first round, the gap narrowed and according to polls there is a technical tie. Hernandez would, above all, add the antipatrista vote.

“The biggest challenge facing Petro’s campaign is breaking the electoral boundary with him in recent years. It is the resistance of the candidate in a country that has traditionally been one of the right-wing governments,” Universidad de la Sabana political analyst Johann Caldas told the Associated Press.

At the age of 62, Petro confirmed that he was looking for a “change” for Colombia that included “the people” and pitted him against the current government of the conservative duke, who was opposed by his former president lvaro Uribe. (2002-2010) sponsored by ,

His speech has matured over the years, but he began to project himself from his youth. In 1978, when he was just an economics student, Petro opted to join the urban guerrilla movement on April 19, or M-19, named to commemorate the date of the 1970 presidential elections in which an alleged fraud was committed. There was a report that stopped General Gustavo Rojas. Pinilla came to power.

Nationalist and anti-imperialist, the M-19 sought power through weapons and is remembered for symbolic strikes such as the theft of Simón Bolivar’s sword in Bogota and other more sinister ones, such as the taking of the Palace of Justice. Where the high courts, which ended in tragedy after the army tried to take control by force and dozens of magistrates were killed, the guerrillas and others disappeared.

Petro did not become a guerrilla commander, in that he was more of a militiaman, and he takes no major responsibility for the tragedy at the Palace of Justice in 1985 as he was in prison. There, as they have been condemned, they were beaten and subjected to “Chinese torture”, which consists of continuously dropping a drop of water on a still victim for hours. While they were in prison, their first son, Nicholas, was born, who is currently a deputy.

Everth Bustamante, a former M-19 commander and later senator, remembers meeting a young 18-year-old Petro in Zipaquira—a town near Bogota where he lived in his youth—when he joined an urban aid group. had attended. guerrilla

“The Petro didn’t have a major role (in the M-19) until we signed the peace deal,” Bustamante said. He said his time in prison was not because of “political-military activity” by guerrillas, but for helping a community illegally occupy a piece of land to build a neighborhood.

“Since its origin, it has been in favor of another line of rebellion and rebellion of the popular regions … It has some illusions of being called to solve all the problems and take the country to heaven, this one monstrous, populist discourse”, assured Associated Press Bustamante, formerly his ally and now one of his opponents.

The M-19’s weapons were melted down and turned into steel ingots after the signing of a peace deal with the government in 1990. Petro, along with about 900 other guerrillas, abandoned the rebellion and founded a political party. Some were assassinated and others became mayors, governors or senators.

In legitimacy, Petro has been an opposition senator for several periods and is remembered for denouncing congressional ties between paramilitaries and politicians, many of them now convicted.

As mayor of Bogota between 2012 and 2015, he generated mixed opinions about his administration. On the one hand, they recognize him as a champion of ambitious social projects, but they criticize him for some immediate decisions. His mandate ended in controversy after the Attorney General’s office dismissed him and disqualified him from holding public office for 15 years for “very serious” defects in the implementation of a new sanitation model in Bogota. .

Despite the appeals filed by Petro, the Attorney General’s office confirmed its decision and the lawsuit went to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which in 2020 held Colombia responsible for infringing Petro’s political rights.

Yann Bassett, a political analyst and professor of science, said, “The resistance generated by Gusto Petro’s portrait has less to do with his past as a guerrilla fighter than with the somewhat messianic, personal and aggressive style that characterizes him.” Is.” Associated Press Rosario University.

His opponents fear that if Petro comes to power there will be “a new Hugo Chávez” and that Colombia will end up in a political and social crisis that Venezuela is experiencing.

Petro and Chavez met in 1994 in Bogota. “Chávez was a friend of mine and I respected his process, but the fact that he tried to imitate the Cuban model in the final stages raised many doubts in me,” Petro said in his autobiographical book “Una” . Farewell many lives”.

“You can’t just call him authoritarian, he defends the Constitution. It’s more of a question mark,” Bassett said. When compared to left-wing Latin American leaders, the expert drew close not so much with Chávez or Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, but with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who publicly defended him during the campaign.

If he becomes president, Petro has confirmed that he will seek dialogue and justice with armed groups that still live in Colombia, such as the guerrilla National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Clan del Golfo Cartel. It has also pledged to abide by the peace agreement signed in 2016 between the state and the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) of Colombia, which has become the oldest in Latin America.

A peace court is about to issue its first ban on incidents in five decades of internal armed conflict, which has led to the deaths of more than 262,000 people and the disappearance of nearly 80,000, according to state records.

Petro, his friends say, is a shy man who doesn’t get upset easily and who has learned to hide and deal with tense moments later in opposition. He draws strength from his family made up of his third wife, Veronica Alcosar, and their five children.

Nation World News Desk
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