Gustavo Petro had promised change. 100 days after taking office, Colombia’s first left-wing president has a solid record to show. During a press conference at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, November 15, Mr. Petro summed up “fifty cash” has focused on peace, social justice and climate justice since taking office. The state of grace will have been productive. Colombia is changing with determination and some confusion.
Priority of the President, the policy of “Total Peace” takes shape. Negotiations have started with the country’s armed groups (guerrillas or criminal gangs). “More than a dozen of them actually respect a truce”, he announced. Congress passed the tax reform that should enable the government to collect around 4 billion euros. An ambitious agrarian reform was initiated. The reforms of the health system, pension and labor law as well as the police and the possible abolition of conscription are examined.
Diplomatic relations with Venezuela have been restored and the border reopened. Together with the local population, the National Development Plan is intended to formalize the promised turnaround in terms of energy transition and the fight against drugs. The Latin American Treaty of Escazu, which protects environmentalists, has been ratified. In the UN tribune, President Petro criticized Washington; to that of COP27, multinational companies. And the list goes on.
Trust the new government
To celebrate the symbolic date of the Hundred Days, supporters of the new government called for nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday. “Petro gave us hope”, sums up Martha, 54, a teacher in Bogota, tears of emotion in her eyes. But she agrees: “Nothing has really changed yet. A hundred days is a short time. » Like them, the peasants of Cauca, the Amazonian Indians, the fishermen of Choco and the street vendors of Cartagena are expressing their confidence in the new government.
However, the post-pandemic situation is difficult. The peso has fallen against the dollar, inflation hit 12.2% in October – a 28-year high – the country faces torrential rains and a recession looms in 2023. The security problems remain great. Colombia is producing more cocaine than ever. The Indepaz Institute has identified nearly 90 armed groups comprising 10,000 armed men. In the countryside, the killings of community leaders and local activists continue despite the establishment of a protection program. The perception of urban insecurity does not go away.
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