Weekly Report - 15 September 2022 (WR-22-37)

COLOMBIA: Petro puts regions centre stage

President Gustavo Petro is making a big move to bolster Colombia’s long-neglected regions, empowering mayors and governors who have tended to operate on the political periphery in a heavily centralised country. Speaking on 14 September in his first televised address since taking office in early August, Petro made good on an electoral campaign promise to address the longstanding problem of a weak state presence in the regions, especially those ravaged by armed conflict. He said that 50 ‘binding regional dialogues’ would be staged around the country to draw up a national development plan. Days earlier he announced the creation of another dialogue mechanism, led by regional authorities, to improve protection for social leaders and demobilised combatants. Both plans are designed to complement his government’s ‘total peace’ initiative.

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