Latin America

What are the challenges that Gustavo Petro will have as president? | News

The elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, will formally assume the reins of the nation on August 7, where the crucial challenges will be the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed by the State with the former FARC-EP, the fight against social inequality , economic recession and policies against climate change. in sequence:

UN Human Rights Office in Colombia condemns murder of peasant leader

During his electoral campaign, Gustavo Petro raised the flags for the vindication of the rights of indigenous and peasant communities, as well as the fight against corruption and guarantees of rights such as health and education, reasons why the now president achieved more than 11 million votes, a record in the history of elections in Colombia.

peace agreement

Both the Comunes party and social organizations have denounced that during the Government of Iván Duque the implementation of the Peace Agreement has been slow, at the same time, the lack of guarantees for ex-combatants is another sad factor.

After the signing of the Agreement in 2016 to date, not even progress has been made in the full implementation of point one, which refers to the comprehensive rural reform, for the moment, inequality in land ownership and lack of investment policies for the Colombian agribusiness sector.

At the same time, the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz) indicates that so far this year 30 ex-combatants have been murdered and since 2018-2020 (period of the Duque Government) 261 ex-combatants have been killed.

Despite the fact that Iván Duque asked the United Nations and the European Union (EU) for resources for the Peace Agreement, Colombian media revealed a network of corruption in which officials from the Comptroller’s Office, the Planning Department and some conservative congressmen allegedly participated. 500,000 million pesos that were for the implementation of the Agreement were stolen.

Gustavo Petro asserted that this and other corruption scandals will be investigated by government authorities, as well as with the support of the United Nations in order to guarantee transparency in legal processes.

Social inequality

Other headaches that Petro will have is the fight against social inequality, the commodification of rights such as health and education has caused job opportunities and development to go through a complex moment and even more so now in a context where increases are being recorded. of Covid-19 cases.

Likewise, this situation adds to the lack of guarantees for social leaders, who are the main victims of the social and armed conflict; Indepaz warns that in this 2022 110 leaders are reported and under the administration of Duque, the country counts 957 murdered social leaders.

In addition to the persecution of social leaders by irregular armed groups, the country also faces the grim phenomenon of massacres, especially perpetrated in rural territories, so far this year there have been 59 massacres and from 2018 to date, Indepaz reports 313, which have left 1,192 fatalities.

The Minister of Education appointed by Petro, Alejandro Gaviria, emphasized that in the new Government access to science will be guaranteed, especially in rural areas, at the same time, he announced that the report of the Truth Commission, which outlines the humiliations raised in the conflict, will be announced in schools and colleges in favor of the truth of Colombian history.

Economic crisis

Gustavo Petro emphasized during his campaign that he will work for the potentiation of the country’s productive engines, among his measures is the protection of agriculture and an increase in import rates. The president-elect asserts that the dialogue for reconciliation will focus on businessmen and landowners in favor of directing policies towards production that increases access to consumption and employment.

The economic crisis triggered by Iván Duque’s policies and complemented by the Covid-19 pandemic, leads to the unemployment rate reaching 15.2 percent in 2021, with rural areas being the most unemployed.

The food crisis, due to the scarcity of food, is reflected in the growth of its prices: inflation.

I welcome the measures to regulate the export of meat taken by Duque, but it is necessary to go further.

The fight against hunger must begin now

– Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo)
July 24, 2022

Another factor is the devaluation of the Colombian peso, The Economist magazine indicates that it suffered a drop of 43.5 percent compared to the US dollar (currency most used by States in international trade).

In addition, the financing of the programs proposed by Petro will have to be based on a tax reform that manages to raise funds without affecting the popular class and middle class, since Duque leaves a fiscal deficit that is located at 5.6 percent of the Internal Product. Gross (GDP); Although the Minister of Finance appointed by Petro, Alejandro Ocampo, has not given details about the reform project that will be presented to Congress, it is known that a tax will be applied to sugar drinks, as well as to assets and citizens who earn an equal monthly figure. or more than 10 million pesos (2,600 dollars, approximately).

fight against climate change

The issue of climate change was not only alluded to during Petro’s recent campaign, when he was mayor of Bogotá, he undertook policies to preserve the environment. After the appointment of Susana Muhamad as Minister of the Environment, the first announcement is the suspension of fracking, as well as future contracts for the exploration and exploitation of oil wells.

Petro explained that the purpose of the measure is to direct Ecopetrol to produce clean energy so that it is in accordance with international treaties, especially the Paris Agreement. However, given the context that is still dependent on oil to generate foreign exchange for the country, Petro explained that the current oil extraction agreements will be maintained, but the turnaround in production will take place gradually.

Our first victory:

The ratification of the Escazú Agreement has been approved in the second debate in the Senate by 73 favorable votes against 23 negative. Progress in the protection of the environment and water in Colombia:

– Iván Cepeda Castro (@IvanCepedaCast)
July 26, 2022

Although he has not formally assumed the Presidency, Gustavo Petro and his parliamentary caucus have already taken a first step to comply with aspects related to the fight against climate change, since on July 27 the Senate unanimously ratified the Escazú Agreement, now the project will pass to the House of Representatives where it is estimated that it will be approved.

The bench of the Historical Pact (government coalition) and allied parties agree that the Escazú Agreement promoted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) constitutes a deepening of environmental democracy.

Disclaimer: Via Telesur – Translated by RJ983

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