Who is Gustavo Petro, presidential candidate in Colombia? | News

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Economist, public administrator, specialist in the environment and population development, Gustavo Petro, at 62 years old and at the head of the Historical Pact coalition, could become this Sunday the first left-wing president in the history of Colombia.

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Electoral uncertainty in Colombia

Petro, who has Francia Márquez as his running mate, will compete in the second electoral round for the presidency of the South American country against the right-wing populist candidate Rodolfo Hernández and the polls give him an advantage in the intention of the vote.

The history of the Colombian leader, who is trying for the third time to reach the Palacio de Nariño, seat of the Executive power, has been marked by threats against his life, exile and political persecution.

Petro was born on April 9, 1960 in Ciénaga de Oro, in the northern department of Córdoba, he is the eldest of three children.

His father Gustavo Petro Sierra and his mother Nubia Urrego moved to the municipality of Zipaquirá, in the department of Cundinamarca, in 1970, the year in which Misael Pastrana won the presidency of Colombia in the midst of irregularities, questions that gave life to the guerrilla of the M-19.

Gustavo Petro attended his first years at the Colegio de La Salle de Zipaquirá, his time was divided between studies and the activities he developed in La Carta del Pueblo, a local newspaper that he had founded with his friends from school.

Petro joined the M-19 guerrilla in 1978. There he carried out political tasks that led him into hiding. He was captured, tortured and sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

In 1990 the demobilization of the M-19 took place. Petro became one of the advisers to the constituents of 1991. Years later he obtained a degree in economics from the Externado de Colombia University.

His political career began in 1981 as a representative of Zipaquirá. In 1984 he was a councilman, he reached the House of Representatives in 1991 and from there he went to the Senate. He was the first congressman to uncover the relations between politicians and paramilitaries.



In 2012, Petro became the mayor of Bogotá, a function from which he denounced the mafias in the garbage business and proposed to change the system.

The execution of the new model, a year later, cost him the dismissal of his position and he was disqualified for 15 years to hold public office.

In 2018, the case reached the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which declared the Colombian State responsible for the violations of Gustavo Petro’s political rights.

Petro, after this journey that he has traveled without pause, is on the verge of becoming the first president who represents the progressive and democratic sectors of the Colombian left.

Government Program.

Petro and Márquez have made the environmental fight the backbone of their government program. If he wins the elections, he intends to make a transition in energy matters and change oil and coal for renewable energies.



In his government program, he proposes to move towards a productive economy based on respect for nature, “leaving behind the exclusive dependence on the extractivist model and democratizing the use of clean energy to generate national capacities that allow us to face the effects of climate change” .

In economic matters, the Historical Pact, if won, will seek “a development of macroeconomic stability at the service of citizens, which implies a comprehensive and functional approach to finances, where employment, distribution and sources of growth have the same importance as the payment of the debt and the control of inflation”.

Petro has synthesized his proposals in this statement: to achieve “the progress, prosperity and well-being of all Colombians.”

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