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From right to left in Colombia

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Gustavo Volmar

Colombian tourists are visiting our country in increasing numbers. Trade exchanges between the two countries have been strengthened and diversified. And the friendly relations that bind us have been reinforced by like-minded positions on world affairs. It is logical, therefore, that we are interested in the result of the elections in Colombia of this year.

On May 29, the first round of the presidential elections will be held in that country. As here, if none of the candidates receives half or more of the votes cast, the winner will be decided in a runoff on June 19. The second-place presidential candidate will get a seat in the Senate, and his running mate will enter the Chamber of Deputies.

What distinguishes those elections this time it is the possibility that a clearly conservative right-wing government will be replaced by one with decisively left-wing features.

Indeed, Gustavo Petro, the leftist candidate for the Historical Pact, is someone whom the forces that supported the current president, Iván Duque, would not like to see installed in the government palace. From now on, Petro is being sponsored by the representatives of the Latin American left, who are confident that his eventual election would consolidate the displacement of conservative governments that has been taking place in the region in recent years. This is evidenced by the special invitation to his inauguration that Gabriel Boric, the new and young president of Chile, extended to him.

Petro, a 61-year-old economist, was mayor of Bogotá and is currently a senator. His image for the right is dominated by his previous militancy in the revolutionary movement M-19, having been sentenced in 1985 to 18 months in prison for illegal possession of weapons. He is a defender of universal access to health, clean energy sources, public banking and agrarian reform.

Doctor of Economics from Columbia University specialized in companies, markets, forecasts and risk.

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