Colombia chooses former rebel as first left-wing president
June 20, 2022 - Gustavo Petro, an ex-rebel fighter and former mayor of Bogota, has been elected Colombia’s first left-wing president.
Gustavo Petro, a former member of the now disbanded M-19 movement in the 1980s (a rebel left-wing guerrilla group that waged war against the state), has been elected president of Colombia.
The former mayor of Bogota is the country’s first elected left-wing president, after defeating independent candidate and construction magnate Rodolfo Hernández in Sunday's run-off election.
The result was a closely fought contest with Petro taking 50.44% of the vote – a margin of just over 700,000 votes (Hernández took 47.31%).
For decades Colombia has been led by moderates and conservatives, but has recently faced widespread public discontent at the way in which the nation has been run, with dozens of people dying in 2021 anti-government protests.