January 28, 2023

Gustavo Petro celebrates a month in the Presidency of Colombia seeking to implement key reforms for his government

Read Time:6 Minute, 40 Second


(CNN Spanish) — The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, celebrates a month in office this Wednesday with the search for a series of political and economic reforms, a shake-up in the military forces, as well as a favorable trend in the polls that give him confidence to continue heading into his first 100 days in office.

Petro became president on August 7 after a narrow electoral victory on June 19. The candidate, who was elected the first left-wing president of Colombia, after three campaigns in a decade, promised a series of reforms to combat poverty, the fight against corruption, a new paradigm in the public force, and a risky bet such as the reestablishment of relations with Venezuela.

With a favorable trend in the polls ranging from a 56%, according to Invamerup to a 69%, according to the National Consulting Center, Petro’s start in the government still has overtones of a honeymoon, with mixtures of successes and failures typical of a first month in command. We tell you a summary of some of the initiatives that Petro has advanced in his first 30 days in power.

Achieving total peace: Petro’s message in his inaugural speech 3:04

Changes in the Defense sector

This is perhaps one of the most ambitious key issues of Petro, who promised a reform and a different approach in the management of the public force based on the defense of life and protection of human rights.

In one of the most controversial decisions he has announced to date, and in a complete overturn of the country’s defense policy, Petro ordered the suspension of aerial bombardments against illegal armed groups in the midst of the internal conflict to avoid collateral damage to the population. civilian, the death of forcibly recruited minors and as a gesture to move towards full peace.

“The bombings must be suspended, we are going to evaluate the specific moment in which an absolute guideline can be made available, but that is where we tend to go,” Petro Defense Minister Iván Velásquez said at a press conference on March 25. August, in which he stated that minors forcibly recruited by illegal armed groups are victims of violence.

“Life must always be privileged over death and operations cannot be carried out on one side absolutely that endanger the civilian population,” he assured. “Therefore, any military action carried out against members of illegal armed organizations cannot endanger the lives of these victims of violence as well.”

Velásquez assured that peace is not a weakness of the State in the face of illegal armed organizations and that the Armed Forces and the National Police will continue to fulfill their constitutional obligations.

Petro condemns attack in which 8 policemen died in Colombia 1:57

Shakedown in the military

Upon his arrival, the president renewed the line of command of the Military Forces and the Police, appointing as commanders of these forces officers who had no accusations of corruption or human rights violations, and asked them to promote a security policy that defends life, reported Reuters. In this romp that Petro did in the Defense sector, 23 generals went into retirement.

He also promised to remove the National Police from the Ministry of Defense and transfer it to a new Ministry of Peace, Security and Coexistence.

However, one of the points that is on hold is dismantling the Mobile Anti-riot Squad (ESMAD), a police force that has been the target of international criticism for its responsibility in the deaths of protesters during the 2019 and 2021 social protests. presented a proposal to transform Esmad as it is known today, but there is no talk of its liquidation.

Human Rights Watch hrw

A member of Esmad, Colombia’s riot police, fires tear gas at protesters in Cali on September 10. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

Peace talks with the ELN and other armed groups

This is another of Petro’s bets during his term and to start moving some broken dialogues since 2019 after an ELN terrorist attack in Bogotá, the president suspended the arrest and extradition orders for those who resume the role of negotiators with the Army of National Liberation (ELN).

Added to this is a peace commission headed by Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva and Peace Commissioner Danilo Rueda, who said they were exploring the possibility of resuming peace talks with the ELN and met with guerrilla chief Antonio García to set the rules of the game to sit down at a possible negotiation table.

Petro resumes negotiations with the ELN 2:51

Extradition and fight against drugs

In this new approach, President Petro proposed several controversial points to change the fight against drug trafficking and the violence it generates.

Petro, who has repeatedly said that “the war on drugs has been a complete failure,” outlined a proposal on the day of his presidential inauguration that has to do with a new approach: a bill that his government recently submitted to the Congress to legalize recreational marijuana.

Because although Colombian law already allows the production of cannabis for medical purposes, mainly for export to foreign markets such as the United States and Canada, supporters of the new legislation believe that only the legalization of recreational cannabis can keep thousands of farmers away from drug trafficking. and take them to the market and legal trade.

But as it stands, Colombia’s constitution explicitly prohibits the use of narcotics without a doctor’s prescription. So even if Congress passed a law legalizing recreational marijuana, the Supreme Court could find it unconstitutional. The way is long.

On the other hand, Petro proposed a change in the policy of extradition of drug traffickers to the US. At the end of August, he said that Colombia would stop extraditing drug traffickers to the United States in exchange for them negotiating with the State and not repeat offending. But for those who do not take advantage of this plan or negotiate, but reoffend, extradition would be imminent and without legal privileges.

Bilateral relations with Venezuela

As if it were a race against time, Colombia and Venezuela quickly started down the road to reestablishing bilateral relations with the arrival of ambassadors Armando Benedetti and Félix Plasencia in Caracas and Bogotá, respectively.

The most urgent thing for the two diplomats was to reestablish bilateral relations and then reestablish commercial relations between Bogotá and Caracas, to deal with issues such as the reactivation of flights between the two countries, as well as a possible meeting between Petro and the questioned president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro, a measure that did not sit well with the opposition, which does not recognize Maduro as the legitimate president.

Colombia and Venezuela fix their respective embassies and consulates 2:36

Tax reform

This is perhaps one of Petro’s most immediate goals. From the second day in office, Petro has moved his chips to present a tax reform that allows him to collect some 25 billion pesos by 2023. The reform proposes the reduction of benefits for those who have incomes greater than 10 million pesos per month. (about $2,200 at current exchange rates); the introduction of taxes on sugary drinks and ultra-processed foods.

The Colombian Minister of Finance, Jose Antonio Ocampo said that this “is not a reform against private enterprise” and the text is currently under discussion with unions, academics and local leaders.

In this way the administration will obtain, according to its forecasts, the funds to finance its ambitious social program.

Along the same lines, Petro, a staunch defender of energy transformations defending the environment, is seeking to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and advance in the transition towards cleaner energies. For this reason, in the tax reform he proposes a carbon tax, as well as a tax on single-use plastics in the Petro tax reform that would coexist with the one that already exists on plastic bags.

— With information from CNN’s Marlon Sorto, Ángela Reyes, Melissa Velásquez and Stefano Pozzebon.





Source link

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post The reason it’s taking so long for NASA to retest Artemis I
Next post The attack against Cristina Fernández is used to repress the political opposition, analyst thinks | Video