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Gustavo Petro’s victory in Colombia: ‘We expect a lot from him’

Gustavo Petro’s voters went out to celebrate in the streets of Bogotá. youth with colombian flags They gathered outside the event center where the president-elect was giving his speech, after his victory in the second round of the presidential elections.

Angélica Castillo sells corn on the streets to pay for her college. “I ask that you help us young people. We expect a lot from him”, he told RFI. The spontaneous party was also triggered by the arrival for the first time of an Afro-descendant woman to the vice presidency: Francia Márquez.

“It is truly historic that in Colombia an Afro person is vice president, that is, it is truly participatory,” said Jairo Solano, an Afro social leader from northern Colombia.

Gustavo Petro and his vice Francia Márquez. Photo: Reuters

The Petro-Márquez formula won in Bogotá, and in the North, West, Southwest and South regions. These last They are the poorest areas of the country.

For Sebastián Baquero, this shows a wake-up call. “I hope there is the possibility of a national dialogue between sectors that have historically been excludedlike the indigenous, the Afro communities”, explained the Bogotan to RFI.

The right recognizes its defeat

Petro, from the leftist coalition Historical Pact, obtained 50.44% of the votes in yesterday’s elections against the populist Rodolfo Hernández, who reached 47.31%.


Right-wing sectors were cautious but respectful of the result at the polls. Reflection of the high disapproval of the current conservative president Iván Duque.

His rival in the ballot, the independent Rodolfo Hernández, acknowledged his defeat and called on the winner: “I wish Dr. Gustavo Petro to know how to lead the country, to be faithful to his speech against corruption.”

Former President Álvaro Uribe acknowledged even on Twitter: “To defend democracy it is necessary to abide by it. Gustavo Petro is the President“.

This Monday the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, greeted some “unquestionable” elections and “a clear vote in favor of political change and a more egalitarian and more inclusive society.”

Uruguay also wished Petro “success. In a statement released this Monday by the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry, the Executive of Luis Lacalle Pou congratulated the president-elect “for his victory in said civic act” and wished him “success in his future management.”

In addition, according to the text, Uruguay greets the Colombian people “for the exemplary electoral process“which culminated in the victory of Petro” through the free, democratic and transparent of citizenship”.

Vargas Llosa’s criticism

The Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa expressed this Monday his wish that Petro’s victory “be an amendable and correctable accident” in the immediate future, and that the Latin American country remains “within strict legality”.

Vargas Llosa made these statements at the XV Atlantic Forum “Ibero-America: democracy and freedom”, organized at the Casa de América in Madrid by the International Foundation for Freedom (FIL), which he chairs.

The Spanish-Peruvian writer acknowledged that the unknown is “whether (Petro) remains within the law or not.”

If it does, “so much the better for Colombia, but if it intends, as some of its supporters intend, to destroy this legality, a question mark arises regarding the future of the country, since it would enter, like other Latin American countries, into an unpredictable world“, plot.

However, he congratulated Petro for his “adjusted victory” and highlighted the “magnificent” work of the still Colombian president, Iván Duque, who will continue to hold office until August 7 and who also participated, electronically, in the Forum .

“Duque’s presidential management has been highly questioned, but after adding and subtracting, I think he has always acted within the law and hopefully this will continue to be respected under the new president,” he insisted.

With information from agencies and Paula Carrillo, Bogotá correspondent for RFI


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