Third time may be the charm. Gustavo Petro He hopes to win the presidency of Colombia this Sunday after losing on two previous occasions. Born in Ciénaga de Oro, a town in the Colombian Caribbean, in 1960, Petro arouses hatred and love. Misgivings come from very diverse sectors, who see in this leftist a dangerous socialist who will follow in the footsteps of the Chavista Venezuela. His followers believe that he is the ideal person to end the country’s social inequalities.
Gustavo Petro was interested in politics from an early age, which he decided to dedicate himself to after reading Garcia Marquez. The two studied at the same college for priests, where Petro read Marxist intellectuals. At just 17 years old he entered the guerrilla movement M-19in which he mainly carried out urban liaison tasks and not so much armed struggle, until his disarmament in 1990. In Bogotá he studied economics and obtained his first political position as a councilman in Zipaquirá.
Under the pseudonym of “Aureliano” -as the character of “One hundred years of solitude»-, Petro spent three years in hiding and another two in prison. They captured him in 1985 in Bolívar 83, the popular neighborhood of Zipaquira that he helped found, and they tortured him like so many members of the guerrillas at the time.
After the demobilization of the guerrilla, Petro was elected representative to the House of Representatives and was later appointed diplomatic attaché in Belgium.
Upon his return to Colombia, he returned again as a deputy in 1998 and in 2006 he went to Senate. Throughout this time he stood out for his denunciations of the links between politicians and paramilitaries in what was considered “parapolitics.” He was especially critical of then-president Álvaro Uribe and his security policy, during which the scandal of “false positives” broke out, young people posing as guerrillas who were killed by the military in exchange for prizes and better conditions. statistics.
Petro’s popularity led him to become a candidate for the presidency of Colombia in 2010 for the Polo Democrático Alternativo in elections that he won Juan Manuel Santos. Shortly after he took over the mayor’s office in Bogotá, but a scandal over waste management led the Attorney General to dismiss him and disqualify him after a socially-oriented approach that managed to lift half a million people out of poverty. Personally shy and seductive and a great speaker on stage, Petro -married and father of six children with different women-, arrives at his third attempt for the Presidency away from several of his great fellow travelers, and without many of the “revolutionary” ideas he evoked.