Petro and Colombia’s Armed Forces Are Heading for a Showdown

Petro and Colombia’s Armed Forces Are Heading for a Showdown
A police officer stands in front of a campaign sign for then-presidential candidate Gustavo Petro and his running mate Francia Marquez, Bogota, Colombia, May 25, 2022 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Gustavo Petro, who once fought against the Colombian state as a member of the rebel group M-19, will become the first leftist president in the country’s modern history when he is inaugurated on Aug. 7. He has promised to make radical reforms to Colombia’s military and police forces, which have a checkered history of human rights abuses, corruption and even ties to criminal groups, immediately upon taking office. Petro himself admits the stakes are high, saying that if he fails to implement his vision, “darkness will ravage” any hope the country has at achieving real peace. But to effect the structural changes he has promised, Petro […]

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