Gustavo Petro, a former insurgent fighter, has been sworn in as Colombia’s first left-wing president.
The previous member of the M-19 armed group took his oath of workplace in Bogota’s Bolivar Plaza on Sunday afternoon, pledging to unite the polarised nation within the struggle towards inequality and local weather change, and obtain peace with insurgent teams and crime gangs.
His inauguration was watched by some 100,000 invitees together with Spanish King Felipe VI, not less than 9 Latin American presidents and different Colombians invited by Petro.
“I don’t want two nations, simply as I don’t want two societies. I need a robust, simply and united Colombia,” an emotional Petro stated in his inaugural speech. “The challenges and checks that now we have as a nation demand a interval of unity and fundamental consensus.”
Petro, a 62-year-old former senator, has promised to revive scuppered peace negotiations with the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) rebels and to use a 2016 peace deal to ex-members of the FARC fighters who reject it.
His overseas minister has stated the federal government will maintain dialogue with gangs and doubtlessly give members decreased sentences in trade for details about drug trafficking.
Armed teams ought to settle for that deal, Petro stated.
“We name on all those that are armed to depart their arms within the haze of the previous. To just accept authorized advantages in trade for peace, in trade for the definitive non-repetition of violence,” Petro informed the cheering crowd gathered beneath a vivid Andean solar.
He additionally known as for a brand new worldwide technique to struggle drug trafficking, saying the United States-led warfare on medicine has failed.
“It’s time for a brand new worldwide conference that accepts that the warfare on medicine has failed, that it has left one million lifeless Latin Individuals throughout 40 years and that it leaves 70,000 North Individuals lifeless by overdose annually. The warfare on medicine strengthened mafias and weakened states,” he stated.
Local weather change have to be fought internationally, however particularly by nations which emit essentially the most greenhouse gases, Petro added, saying Colombia would transition to an economic system with out coal or oil.
On the marketing campaign path, Petro stated Colombia will cease granting new licenses for oil exploration and can ban fracking tasks, regardless that the oil business makes up nearly 50 % of the nation’s authorized exports. He plans to finance social spending with a $10bn-a-year tax reform that may increase taxes on the wealthy and cast off company tax breaks.
Petro has additionally stated a high precedence is to struggle starvation within the nation of fifty million, the place practically half the inhabitants lives at some stage of poverty. He has additionally pledged free public college schooling and healthcare adjustments, and constructed a broad congressional coalition of left-wing and centrist events to move his platform.
The brand new president begins from an “enviable place, with a big majority in Congress and, when it comes to the road, with help that no authorities had lately,” analyst Jorge Restrepo of the Useful resource Heart for Battle Evaluation, informed the AFP information company.
However others stated Petro should prioritise his coverage targets.
“He’s obtained a really bold agenda,” stated Yan Basset, a political scientist at Bogota’s Rosario College. “However he should prioritize. The chance Petro faces is that he goes after too many reforms without delay and will get nothing” by Colombia’s congress.
New Vice President Francia Marquez, an environmental activist and former housekeeper, is the primary Afro-Colombian girl to carry her put up. Their cupboard consists of an internationally famend professor, Jose Antonio Ocampo, as finance minister and a tutorial who researches the destructive impacts of industries as minister for mining. The labour ministry can be led by the top of Colombia’s communist social gathering.
Hundreds of supporters celebrated in Bogota and at giant screens arrange in public locations across the nation.
“I didn’t consider I’d dwell to see this lastly occur,” stated Nelson Molina, a 56-year-old plumber who was sporting a Petro t-shirt and hat. “I do know we gained’t change from at some point to the following, that is just the start.”
Teams of individuals have been additionally celebrating on either side of the Colombia-Venezuela border, with dozens gathered on both facet of a crossing level on the Simon Bolivar bridge exterior the Colombian metropolis of Cucuta.
Petro, a former mayor of Bogota, has promised to reopen diplomatic relations with Venezuela, permitting commerce between the 2 nations and consular companies to renew.
Petro’s first order as president was for the army to carry the sword of Latin American liberation hero Simon Bolivar — stolen by Petro’s erstwhile M-19 comrades in 1974 — to be displayed within the plaza, after his predecessor Ivan Duque didn’t authorise its use within the ceremony.