Former left-wing rebel is sworn in as president

On Sunday the former left-wing rebel Gustavo Petro is sworn in as the new president of Colombia.

Gustavo Petro är Colombias nye president. Arkivbild.
Gustavo Petro is Colombia's new president.

Petro, the country's first president from the left-wing flank, succeeds the unpopular Conservative Iván Duque, who, because of the country's constitution, was not allowed to stand up for another term of office.

By his side as Vice President, Petro will have 40-year-old Francia Márquez, who will be the country's first black woman in the post.

At a ceremony in Bogotá on Saturday evening, Petro said that his government will strive to "give Colombia something that it has not had for centuries – peace and quiet and peace".

Here begins a government that will fight for environmental justice, he added.

During his election campaign Petro promised to raise taxes for the most wealthy, to invest in health care and education and to reform the police. He has also promised to stop oil exploration, promote clean energy and regain diplomatic and commercial relations with Venezuela. Relations between neighbouring countries have been on hold since 2019, when Colombia's then President Iván Duque refused to recognise the re-election of Venezuela's controversial President Nicolás Maduro.