The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petrocompletes one month in office with a popularity of 56% and focused on the search for “total peace”, a priority of a government that is beginning to be criticized for the inexperience of some of its ministers.
The government of change proposed by Petro, mainly to address social problems, has placed more emphasis on peace with the idea that this is a fundamental value to resolve social demands.
That is why he instructed his chancellor, Alvaro Leyvathat peace be the north of foreign relations and the minister has been directly involved in the rapprochements with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) to resume the dialogues interrupted since 2018.
In his first month in government, Petro extended his peace proposal to other armed groupssuch as the FARC dissidents and criminal gangs, some of which have been willing to negotiate or submit to justice under certain conditions, including non-extradition to the US for drug trafficking.
But despite the favorable environment created by the government for another peace process, Petro had to face the first test in this regard last Friday when unknown individuals, apparently FARC dissidents, killed seven policemen in an ambush in the department. from Huila.
After that attack, Petro asked the military and police leadership “that the more they talk about peace, the more we have to raise our guardmore care must be taken from the point of view of military action” to avoid attacks like that, which he considered a sabotage of “total peace”.
promises of change
“The good thing about this government is that keeps the promise of change and as long as it continues like this during the first hundred days, it will gain greater governance spaces,” he told Eph analyst Jairo Libreros, professor at the Externado de Colombia University.
Governance is essential to carry out Petro’s reforms in Congress and for that he managed to attract the majority of political parties and movements to the government coalition, but fissures are beginning to appear in that alliance due to disagreement with some of the president’s policies.
“President Petro has not ceased to be the Petro candidate, everywhere he goes making impossible promiseswithout rigor, which later become failed expectations that translate, if not acted on time, into discomfort, and that discomfort often becomes a social explosion,” former presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo said on his social networks.
Among the controversial proposals of the Government is the ambitious tax reform to collect more taxes which covers practically all sectors of the economy; Police reform; changes in military doctrine, and modifications in the country’s energy model to reduce dependence on oil and combat the global climate crisis. “The bad thing is that (Petro) wants to make extreme and very fast changes and I don’t know if there is enough consensus in society to make them,” explains Libreros.
One issue on which he did find consensus is the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Venezuelabroken in February 2019, a chapter that has already begun to turn the page with the appointment of ambassadors in Caracas and Bogotá as a starting point for normalization and for the total reopening of the common border, closed seven years ago to the passage vehicular.
The mole of inexperience
Despite Petro’s “honeymoon” with power, the first month of government revealed the inexperience of some of his ministers. The most notorious case is that of the Minister of Mines and Energy, Irene Vélez, philosopher and activist against climate change, who proposed importing natural gas from Venezuela despite the fact that Colombia has reserves for at least seven more years, and then surprised the audience of the National Mining Congress with the theory of decrease.
“We also need to demand, within the framework of this global geopolitics, from the other countries that they begin to decrease in their economic models because it depends on that decrease that we achieve a greater balance and that the impacts of climate change affect us less“, said the minister, which unleashed an avalanche of criticism.
In this regard, Libreros believes that “activists are good at diagnosesto drive popular discontent, but not necessarily to manage public policies for change”.