Earlier than his victory on Sunday, Petro, 62, had already seen two failed presidential bids in 2010 and 2018, however in the end failed to achieve the help of the nation’s majority who nonetheless noticed him a radical left-wing outsider — no small feat for a politician trying to win the hearts of an citizens in one among South America’s most conservative international locations.
For his third marketing campaign, Petro promised to vary the established order, as did his runoff rival, Hernández. Each candidates sought to reap the benefits of what number of Colombians are fed up with right-wing President Iván Duque — a pacesetter whose tenure has been outlined by his administration’s dealing with of police conduct, inequality, and clashes between organized legal teams.
Petro’s get together and allies have been already the most important bloc within the Senate — although they don’t management a majority of seats.
The help Petro has garnered could be partially attributed to Colombia’s worsening socioeconomic state of affairs, together with deteriorating residing circumstances, made worse by the impression of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impression of the conflict in Ukraine.
Petro has traditionally campaigned in favor of upper company taxes and public subsidies for the working class and the poor, a tactic which may assist him draw extra folks from that demographic to his camp.
A chequered previous
Born within the rural north Colombian city of Ciénaga de Oro, Petro spent his youth within the ranks of a leftist guerrilla motion, the nineteenth of April Motion (M19) — based to protest towards allegations of fraud within the 1970 elections.
The group was a part of a so-called second wave of guerrilla actions within the nation that swept the area within the Seventies beneath the affect of the Cuban Revolution.
M19 was related to criminal activity — together with alleged kidnappings for ransom — however Petro says he carried out authorized actions that aimed to mobilize folks to face as much as what he known as a “false democracy,” even serving as a councilman within the metropolis of Zipaquirá.
Petro was detained by the police in 1985 for concealing weapons. Shortly after, M19 launched an assault to take over Bogota’s Supreme Court docket constructing that left a minimum of 98 folks killed, together with 12 magistrates (11 are nonetheless lacking). Petro denies he was concerned within the assault, which happened whereas he was behind bars.
By the point Petro was launched in 1987, after 18 months in navy jail, his ideological perspective had modified. He mentioned that point helped him notice that an armed revolution was not the very best technique to win standard help.
Two years later, M19 entered peace negotiations with the Colombian state, with Petro able to struggle the system from the within.
A gradual marketing campaign
Since shedding the 2018 election, Petro has persistently tried to minimize fears that his financial plan — which additionally proposes a halt to fossil gasoline explorations and renegotiation of worldwide commerce agreements — is “too radical” for Colombia. He has since surrounded himself with extra conventional politicians who may construct bridges with the institution.
Now, he is presenting himself as a brand new kind of progressive.
In April, he signed a pledge to not expropriate any personal land if elected. He is additionally tipped a average to be his financial minister, and has sought to make worldwide ties with new progressives, resembling the US’ Congressional Progressive Caucus, fairly than conventional left-wing leaders like Bolivia’s Evo Morales.
His critics have mentioned he’s too mental and indifferent — if not outright pedantic, with even his personal marketing campaign group referring to him as “the Petroxplainer,” given his tendency to lecture.
To counter this, he is been campaigning in a few of the nation’s most impoverished areas, the place he is been chatting with locals in conversations streamed on Instagram.
Petro wager on Colombians to consider in him as an developed politician, telling CNN that he is managed to efficiently mix his revolutionary zeal with follow public administration.
Subsequent, the previous guerrilla — whose nom-de-guerre Aureliano Buendia is taken from author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magical realism basic, One Hundred Years of Solitude — hopes to set off a scientific revolution in Colombia, asking economists to run via his proposals.
“Magical realism comes from the center whereas my scientific proposals are from the mind. To rule you want them each,” he mentioned.