Former insurgent fighter Gustavo Petro has been sworn in as the primary leftist president of Colombia.

A former member of the M-19 armed group took the oath of workplace at Bogota’s Bolivar Plaza on Sunday afternoon, vowing to unite the polarized nation within the battle in opposition to inequality and local weather change, and to realize peace with insurgent teams and crime gangs.

His inauguration was witnessed by about 100,000 invitees, together with Spanish King Felipe VI, no less than 9 Latin American presidents and different Colombians invited by Petro.

“I do not need two international locations, simply as I do not need two societies. I need a sturdy, simply and united Colombia,” an emotional Petro stated in his inaugural speech. “The challenges and exams we face as a nation demand a interval of unity and primary consensus.”

Petro, a 62-year-old former senator, has promised to revive tainted peace talks with Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) rebels and implement a 2016 peace deal for former members of FARC fighters who reject it.

His international minister has stated the federal government will negotiate with gangs and doubtlessly give members much less punishment in trade for details about drug trafficking.

Petro stated the armed teams ought to settle for that deal.

“We name on all those that are armed within the haze of the previous to drop their weapons. To just accept authorized advantages in trade for peace, in trade for a sure non-recurrence of violence,” Petro informed the gang gathered underneath the dazzling Andean solar.

Supporters of Colombian President Gustavo Petro display a painting of him with Vice President Francia Marquez during his swearing-in ceremony at Bolivar Square in Bogota, Colombia.
Supporters of Colombian President Gustavo Petro show a portray of him with Vice President Francia Marquez throughout his swearing-in ceremony at Bolivar Sq. in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, August 7, 2022. [Fernando Vergara/ AP]
Chilean President Gabriel Boric waves during the swearing-in ceremony of new Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogota, Colombia on Sunday.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric waves throughout the swearing-in ceremony of recent Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, August 7, 2022 [Fernando Vergara/ AP]

He known as for a brand new worldwide technique to battle drug trafficking, saying the United States-led Conflict on Medication had failed.

“It’s time for a brand new worldwide conference that acknowledges that the Conflict on Medication has failed, that it has left a million Latin People lifeless over the course of 40 years and that it could have killed 70,000 North People from overdoses yearly. The warfare on medication strengthened the mafia and weak states,” he stated.

Local weather change should be combated internationally, however particularly by the international locations that emit probably the most greenhouse gases, Petro stated, including that Colombia will transition to an financial system with out coal or oil.

On the marketing campaign path, Petro stated Colombia would cease granting new licenses for oil exploration and ban fracking tasks, regardless that the oil trade makes up about 50 % of the nation’s authorized exports. He plans to finance social spending with a $10 billion a yr tax reform that will increase taxes on the rich and get rid of company tax breaks.

Petro has additionally stated that preventing starvation is a high precedence in a rustic of fifty million, the place practically half the inhabitants lives in some degree of poverty. He has additionally promised free public college training and modifications to well being care, and has constructed a broad congressional coalition of left-wing and centrist events to cross his platform.

Jorge Restrepo, analyst on the Useful resource Heart for Battle Evaluation, informed AFP information: “The brand new president begins with a big majority in Congress and, when it comes to the street, assist that no authorities has had in recent times.” ” company.

However others stated Petro ought to prioritize its coverage objectives.

“They’ve a really bold agenda,” stated Yann Bassett, a political scientist on the College of Rosario in Bogota. “However he has to prioritize. The hazard that Petro faces is that he goes after a number of reforms without delay and finds nothing” by the Congress of Colombia.

The brand new Vice President Francia Marquez, an environmental activist and former housekeeper, is the primary Afro-Colombian lady to carry her place. His cupboard consists of an internationally famend professor, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Minister of Finance and an educational who conducts analysis on the damaging impacts of industries as Minister of Mining. The Labor Ministry shall be headed by the pinnacle of the Communist Social gathering of Colombia.

Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez and Colombian President Gustavo Petro embrace during the swearing-in ceremony at Plaza Bolivar in Bogota, Colombia.
Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez and Colombian President Gustavo Petro hug throughout the swearing-in ceremony at Plaza Bolivar on August 7, 2022 in Bogota, Colombia [Luisa Gonzalez/ Reuters]

Hundreds of supporters celebrated on the large screens arrange in Bogota and in public locations throughout the nation.

“I could not imagine I might stay to see this,” stated 56-year-old plumber Nelson Molina, sporting a Petro T-shirt and hat. “I do know we cannot change from day after day, that is only the start.”

Teams of individuals have been additionally celebrating on each side of the Colombia-Venezuela border, with dozens gathered on both aspect of a crossing level on the Simon Bolivar bridge outdoors the Colombian metropolis of Cucuta.

Petro, the previous mayor of Bogota, has pledged to reopen diplomatic ties with Venezuela, permitting commerce and consular providers between the 2 international locations to renew.

Petro’s first order as president was to carry to the army the sword of Latin American liberation hero Simon Bolivar – stolen in 1974 by Petro’s former M-19 comrades – after being displayed within the plaza, his predecessor Ivan Duque. didn’t authorize its use. Celebration.

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