The victory of Gustavo Petro in Colombia’s presidential election has continued a leftward swing in Latin America – and was shortly praised by left-wing leaders throughout the area and the world.
The previous insurgent gained 50.4 p.c of the votes on Sunday, narrowly defeating populist enterprise magnate Rodolfo Hernandez within the runoff election. Amongst his marketing campaign guarantees, Petro pledged to deal with profound social and financial inequality in historically conservative Colombia, the place successive governments have centered totally on addressing insecurity and violence linked to the nation’s practically six-decade-long armed battle.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, who took workplace in 2019 after operating on a left-leaning platform, tweeted on Sunday that Petro’s victory “validates democracy and ensures the trail in direction of an built-in Latin America on this time after we demand most solidarity amongst brother peoples”.
The sensation of the fraternity was echoed by a number of different leaders within the area. Argentina, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia and Honduras have all moved to the left of their final elections, though some observers have argued the shift is rooted extra in populism than ideology.
Peru’s Pedro Castillo, a rural faculty trainer and commerce unionist who took workplace in 2021 and has been dogged by a legislature dominated by the right-wing opposition, mentioned he seemed ahead to working with an ally.
“We’re united by a standard feeling that seeks improved collective, social and regional integration for our peoples,” he mentioned.
Chile President Gabriel Boric, who was elected earlier this 12 months to exchange conservative Sebastian Pinera, referred to as Petro’s win a “pleasure for Latin America”.
“We are going to work collectively for the unity of our continent within the challenges of a world altering quickly,” he tweeted.
In the meantime, Bolivia’s Luis Arce, a member of the Motion of Socialists celebration who took workplace in 2020, mentioned “Latin American integration is strengthened”.
For his half, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mentioned Petro’s success may herald a therapeutic interval within the nation. He referenced the 10-year Colombian civil battle that broke out following the assassination of left-wing presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in 1948.
The battle was a precursor to the six-decade-long battle between the federal government and left-wing insurgent teams, most notably the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) which signed a peace cope with Bogota in 2016.
“Immediately’s triumph might be the tip of this curse and the awakening for this brotherly and dignified individuals,” mentioned Lopez Obrador.
The 62-year-old Petro had been a non-combatant member of the M-19 insurgent group, for which he was briefly jailed and allegedly tortured. The group grew to become infamous for taking the nation’s prime judges hostage in a confrontation that killed nearly 100 individuals in 1985.
He has sought to dispel accusations that his authorities will favour former rebels and that he’ll institute insurance policies which have brought about a social and financial disaster in neighbouring Venezuela. He has pledged low-cost loans for small companies and redistribution of pensions to make sure informal employees obtain a minimal cost.
The previous congressman has additionally mentioned he needs to extend taxes on homeowners of huge tracts of unproductive land and begin weaning Colombia off revenue from oil and coal, which he has described as poisons similar to cocaine. In that vein, he has mentioned he needs to shift Colombia’s relationship with america away from anti-narcotics insurance policies and in direction of the battle in opposition to local weather change.
Venezuelan chief Nicolas Maduro, who had fraught relations with outgoing Colombian President Ivan Duque over the latter’s help of Venezuelan opposition determine Juan Guaido and his accusations that the Venezuelan navy was collaborating with Colombian insurgent teams, welcomed Petro’s victory.
“The desire of the Colombian individuals has been heard, it went out to defend the trail to democracy and peace,” mentioned Maduro.
The reward prolonged throughout the Atlantic Ocean, with the UK’s Labour Social gathering legislator and former opposition chief, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeting in Spanish: “Congratulations Mr. President, socialist!”.
“Unbelievable information from Colombia with the election of a socialist president, who has proven the facility of group organising to construct a well-liked coverage platform to heal the divisions of the previous and convey about social justice,” mentioned Corbyn.
In the meantime, the European Union’s prime diplomat Josep Borrell mentioned Colombians had voted “for a extra inclusive and extra egalitarian society”.