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News > Colombia

Colombia: Petro Initiates Promised Reforms

  • Gustavo Petro promises to forge a peace agreement with armed groups and end the

    Gustavo Petro promises to forge a peace agreement with armed groups and end the "failed drug war." Aug. 9, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@El_Cooperante

Published 9 August 2022

The right seems to be the main obstacle to implementing the 2016 Peace Accord in Colombia; it refutes President Gustavo Petro's peace plans.

"The government seeks to negotiate with Mafiosi and corrupt people, period. We will oppose it with determination," said Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal of the right-wing Democratic Center party, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, on Monday, alluding to President Petro's decision to negotiate with the remnants of the FARC and ELN guerrillas and narcos to restore peace in the country.

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Petro, the first leftist President in Colombia's history, promised, in his inauguration speech on Sunday, to lead the country towards "true and definitive peace" following the negotiation that led to the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas in 2017.

The president, who has a majority in Congress, wants to extinguish the armed conflict that has plagued the country for more than half a century. To this end, he said he would resume peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last recognized guerrilla group in the South American country, while calling on armed drug gangs to lay down their arms in exchange for judicial benefits.

With the arrival of Gustavo Petro to the presidency, Colombia now has another opportunity to regain the peace that has been stalled for the last four years.

After taking the oath as president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro promised to comply with the Peace Agreement.

The ELN and the largest group of FARC dissidents to have walked away from the Peace Accords and the Clan del Golfo - the main armed wing of the narco - have said they are willing to sit at the dialogue table with Petro. The latter two organizations have even separately proposed a ceasefire.

Violence in Colombia skyrocketed during the four years of the administration of former President Ivan Duque due to the rejection of the implementation of the Peace Accord.

Reports indicate that there was evidence of a strengthening of illegal armed groups, in addition to a 7 percent increase in the homicide rate and a 105 percent increase in the number of massacres - a total of 930 social leaders were killed - in the last four years.


Gustavo Petro
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