The pursuit of ‘total peace’ for Colombia


Gustavo Petro, a left-wing politician and former guerrilla, was sworn in as the country's new president on 7 August. His four-year presidential term - the first time the country will have been ruled by a left-winger in a generation - is awakening intense expectations, hopes, and fears. While the incoming president has a wide policy agenda including tax reform, redistribution of income, and a green transition agenda (designed to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels) the main focus of this report is on peace. The blunt question is this: can Petro negotiate a settlement with the country's assorted armed rebels, ranging from Marxist guerrillas through to right-wing paramilitaries, that have condemned the country to seemingly never-ending cycles of violence for more than half a century?

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