Colombia and the first Leftist leader Petro gained from Marquez
Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida
Modern Tokyo Times
In Europe, the focus was on the election in France. However, in South America, the focus was on Colombia and the election victory of the first leftist candidate in the history of this nation. Indeed, not only is the newly elected President Gustavo Petro a leftist: but he also spent his informative early years with being in a leftist urban guerilla group.
His running mate, Vice President Francia Marquez, also made history by being the first black Vice President to serve Colombia. For many individuals, the wafer-thin majority of Petro is down to the popularity of Marquez among disadvantaged groups.
Colombia Reports says, “The increased voter participation was largely due to a spectacular surge in turnout in the Pacific region, where a lot of black and indigenous communities live… Vice-President-elect Francia Marquez is from the Pacific Cauca province where voter participation went up more than 22% compared to 2018.”
The Andes director for the Washington Office on Latin America (a human rights group), Gimena Sanchez, uttered, “She comes from a rural area, she comes from the perspective of a Campesino woman and from the perspective of areas of Colombia that have been affected by armed conflict for many years. Most politicians in Colombia who have held the presidency have not lived in the way she has.”
Marquez said, “This will be a government for those with calluses on their hands… We are here to promote social justice and to help women eradicate the patriarchy.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “However, given the sizeable conservative electorate – then Petro and Marquez will be wise to take the quietist approach. Yes, implement reforms to tackle social inequality – but many populists on the left have promised much only to end up like the spectacle of Nicaragua. Hence, change with a diplomatic approach will serve Petro and Marquez well. After all, the margin of victory was small. Therefore, the state apparatus might create false flags if too radical.”
Voice of America reports, “Political analysts said Marquez contributed to Petro’s campaign by reaching out to voters who felt excluded by the political system but did not trust the leftist parties that Petro, a former member of a rebel group, has been a part of throughout much of his career.”
The next few months will witness if the new leftist government will take a pragmatic reformist approach: or a more confrontational approach toward the conservative state apparatus. Either way, a new chapter begins in Colombia.
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