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Who Is Gustavo Petro? The Newly Elected President of Colombia

It was a really close win.

Gustavo Petro has narrowly defeated millionaire Rodolfo Hernandez to become the first-ever leftist president of Colombia. Gustavo is a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement and also the former Mayor of the capital city Bogota and current Senator.

It was Gustavo’s third attempt at the elections for the presidency and he got 50.58% of the votes this time. His opponent, Rodolf received 47.26% of the votes. Petro defeated Rodolf with a wide margin of 7,16,890 votes while the two were almost tied during the polling.

So who exactly is the newest president and what are his intentions once he takes the position? Here is everything we know about it so far:

Who Is Gustavo Petro?

Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego was born on 19 April 1960. He is an economist, politician, senator, and former guerrilla fighter. He is of Italian descent and was raised as a Catholic and claims that he has a vision of God from liberation theology.

Petro graduated in economics from the Universidad Externado de Colombia and received his Master’s in economics from Universidad Javeriana. He also has a doctoral degree from the University of Salamanca in Spain.

Petro joined the 19th of April Movement at the age of 17 and was frequently involved in its activities for 10 years. He also spent time in jail for about 2 years and claimed that he was tortured in 1985. After being freed, M-19 signed a peace treaty with the government and since then Petro has been serving the country as a lower house legislator, senator, and mayor.

Political Career

In 2002 he was elected into the Chamber of Representatives of Bogota where he was named “Best Congressman”. In 2006, he was elected into the Senate where he exposed the Parapolitics Scandal. Petro has run for the presidential elections in 2010 as well as in 2018 in the past in which he lost.

He was mayor of Bogota from 2012 to 2015 but also was involved in controversies criticizing him as a mayor for a chaotic plan to nationalize rubbish collection. His critics have termed him a radical populist who will bring an economic collapse in Venezuela-style.

Gustavo’s Promises

During his victory speech, Gustavo issued a call for unity and said that all his opponents and critics will be welcome at the presidential palace “to discuss the problems of Colombia”. He has pledged to increase taxes on unproductive land and to introduce free-of-cost university education. He also proposed pension, tax, health, and agricultural reforms.

His victory comes with his running mate, Francia Marquez becoming the first black vice president of the country. Marquez, 40 is a lawyer and environment leader who opposes illegal mining. Gustavo von with about half the votes with a total of 10.5 million voting against him.

The population of Colombia is 50 million which means he will certainly have to face a lot of criticism in the future.

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