Former guerrilla fighter and housekeeper become Colombia's new leaders

Former guerrilla fighter and housekeeper become Colombia's new leaders

Former guerrilla fighter and housekeeper become Colombia's new leaders
News

8 August, 15:10
In the world
Photo: manilatimes.net
In Bogotá, former M-19 rebel fighter Gustavo Petro was sworn in as Colombia's first left-wing president. For the first time in history, a black woman, Francia Marquez, a former housekeeper and active human rights activist, became the vice president of the country.

Petro, 62, who won the election, vowed to unite the polarized country in the fight against inequality and climate change and achieve peace with FARC rebel groups, Al Jazeera reported. He also declared war on crime families making billions of dollars in drug production.

Members of the new cabinet said they intended to engage in dialogue with the gangs and "punish lightly" the gangsters in exchange for information about arms and cocaine trafficking.

On the campaign trail, Petro said he planned to finance social spending through tax reform that would raise taxes on the wealthy and remove corporate tax breaks.

Petro also said fighting hunger remains a top priority for him in a country where almost half of the population lives in poverty.

“It will be an open door government for anyone who wants to discuss Colombia's problems. No matter what they are called, no matter where they come from. We are united by the desire for the future, and not the severity of the past, ” RBC quotes Gustavo Petro.

The new leader of Colombia decided to restore diplomatic relations with Venezuela , which will allow the resumption of trade between the two countries and provide assistance to each other, including in security matters.

The inauguration of the new head of state was watched by about 100,000 invited guests, including King Philip VI of Spain, nine presidents from neighboring countries, a large US delegation, and various Colombian celebrities.

The first order of President Petro after he took office, writes TASS , was the order to bring to the stage where the ceremony took place, the saber of the hero of the struggle for the country's independence from the Spanish crown Simon Bolivar . Ivan Duque , who left the post of head of state, had previously not allowed the use of a historical artifact at the inauguration.

As the newspaper Espectador reminded, before being appointed to the presidency, Petro was a member of the left-wing radical guerrilla "April 19 Movement", after which he became a member of the House of Representatives of Colombia (the lower house of the country's parliament). From 1994 to 1998, Petro worked at the Embassy of Colombia in Belgium, then became a member of the Senate (the upper house of parliament).

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