Latin America

Gustavo Petro: Colombia’s next president?

Polls show Gustavo Petro as the clear favorite in Colombia’s upcoming presidential election. Here we take a look at his political history

Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the political alliance during the PRISA Medios face to face presidential debate broadcasted live through radio web streaming in Bogota, Colombia on January 27. Photo: Chepa Beltran/VWPics via Alamy

After a solid display in Colombia’s congressional race and a landslide win in his coalition’s internal consultation, pollsters now have Gustavo Petro in pole position to become the first left-wing president in the country’s history. 

With almost five decades in politics, despite being just 61 years of age, Mr. Petro witnessed firsthand how violence during the Cold War era made Colombia one of the most dangerous places on Earth in which to participate in public affairs.

As a member of the armed left, he was a protagonist in multiple landmark moments in the country’s contemporary history, from the demobilization...

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