The political awakening of Gustavo Petro -who tomorrow will take over as president of Colombia– It happened at the end of the 60s. Seeing his father crying over the death of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was revealing, a position that would end up being consolidated later when he himself felt sorrow for the death of Chilean President Salvador Allende.
LOOK: The presidents who have confirmed their attendance at the investiture of Gustavo Petro in Colombia
Petro was born on April 19, 1960 in Ciénaga de Oro (Córdova, Colombia), and by the time he turned 18, he joined the April 19 Movementguerrilla emboldened by the Cuban Revolution. Within the organization, and inspired by the novel “One hundred years of solitude”, was baptized as Commander Aureliano.
CNN explains that, by 1978, Petro was living in Zipaquira (near Bogota). There he came across documents from the M-19 and was captivated. He himself has explained:
“From a rational point of view, his thesis was very logical and popular: the country’s history, the popular soul, had to be vindicated. It was easy for us to understand the need for that claim, since we lived in the middle of that popular world”.
-Forging the revolution-
Petro has recognized that he belonged to the M-19, but clandestinely and parallel to his work in politics. By 1980, he worked as a representative of Zipaquira (Cundinamarca), and, four years later and for two years, he was a councilor of the same place.
During that time, he wrote “communiqués and we put them under the doors on some cold nights, at 11 at night”.
How have you explained your affiliation with the guerrillas and your affinity for taking up arms? At that time, Colombia lived between constant states of siege, such as “the military dictatorships of the Southern Cone”.
CNN recalls that, in the coffee country, the phrase “Site status” was normalized for decades, between 1949 and 1978, “including a military dictatorship of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953-1957)”.
In this regard, the next Colombian president has stated: “Without freedoms, without constitutional rights, with the capacity of the presidents that all were popularly elected, but in a democracy somewhat of lies, they governed not by laws, but by decrees. Always aimed at containing the popular movement”.
Petro stayed for 12 years in the M-19 and, as his colleagues remember him, he was a “mediocre fighter”.
The now elected president, finally, was captured and tortured after the signing of the peace agreements with the guerrillas in 1984. Then, he accepted to be a member and was imprisoned without being “condemned in legal terms”.
“I was not prosecuted by a judge or by justice. We could simply call him ‘arrested’ and by decision of an Army colonel, arrested for 18 months [por la] military justice”.
-Way in politics-
After being in prison, Petro’s life took on a new meaning. Between 1991 and 1994, he was “representative to the Chamber for Cundinamarca for the Democratic Alliance party M-19″. For the next two years, she worked as diplomatic attaché in charge of viewing topics Human Rights in Belgium.
He was also a senator (2006), mayor of Bogotá (2012-2015) – despite the fact that the Attorney General’s Office removed him from his position, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights restored it.
In 2018, he ran for the Colombian presidency for the second time, but lost to IVan Duke. And, on June 19 of this year, he finally won the elections.