When taking stock of the first year of his administration, Petro emphasized the "Total Peace" process, the negotiations with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the conversations with other illegal armed groups such as the criminal gangs that operate in the cities of Buenaventura and Medellin.
He also mentioned that his administration seized 1,100 tons of cocaine, increased the destruction of drug laboratories by 16 percent, captured 9,030 members of criminal organizations, and reduced sexual crimes by 29 percent and homicide by 3.6 percent.
"The 'Total Peace' process implies putting life above the hatred and profit of a few who want us to kill ourselves to continue growing greedy businesses," the Colombian president stressed.
A six-month ceasefire between Colombia's government and the country's biggest rebel group, the National Liberation Army has taken effect. The truce is meant to boost peace talks, but some fear it could make the rebels stronger pic.twitter.com/fsr0BwoP7l
Petro criticized those who were wrong by prophesying that his administration would destabilize the economy, scare away private investment, cause job losses, and devaluate the national currency.
"On the contrary, today we can say that we have defeated inflation, which is what hits the pockets of the poorest people in Colombia. Prices are falling and we are beginning to notice that money is already enough to buy the family basket of goods and services," he said.
In the first year of his administration, 1,030,000 new jobs were created, the unemployment gap between men and women reached its lowest point in the last decade, and foreign direct investment had an annual increase of 70 percent and reached US$1.7 billion.
Petro stressed that his administration is based on the search for social justice, which is the basis for achieving peace in Colombia, a country where social inequality has historically been "the undoubted source of violence."
The Government of Change also pursues environmental justice "because we are reaching a critical point of no return, so much so that it can lead to the extinction of life on Earth."