On Sunday, Gustavo Petro was elected president of Colombia. He will become the nation’s first left-wing leader.
Petro, a senator and ex-mayor of Bogota was elected to the Senate. He defeated Rodolfo Hernandez (who conceded defeat) in a runoff.
“Today is a day of celebration for the people. Let them celebrate the first popular victory,”Petro tweeted shortly after finalizing his results. Petro later appeared on the Capital stage and thanked his fans.
“This story that we are writing today is a new story for Colombia, for Latin America, for the world. We are not going to betray this electorate,”He said.
He stated that the president-elect wants to be able to communicate across all political lines to help unite America. “We want Colombia, in the midst of its diversity, to be one Colombia, not two Colombias.”
Colombia is a country that has suffered from decades of leftist insurgency, economic problems and terrorism. Petro joined the M-19 urban guerilla organization at age 17. However, he later claimed that he was an organizer and not a fighter according to AFP.
Petro’s victory was hailed by other leftist leaders in the region, including the presidents of Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba, and Honduras.
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, congratulated Petro and said Washington was ready to collaborate with him to build “a more democratic and equitable hemisphere.”
Petro will take over the presidency starting August 7.
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