The Evolution of Colombia’s Gustavo Petro

By Benjamin Russell

The former Bogotá mayor is making his third run at the presidency and is leading in polls. Has he changed, or has the country?

Gustavo Petro was never favored to become Colombia's president in 2018. Arguably too far left for the country at that time, Petro barely sneaked into the second round against Iván Duque, to whom he lost by 12%. The big question of 2022 is whether Petro—and Colombia itself—have changed enough for the result to be different this time. It certainly seems like a different Colombia. In the last four years, Duque's approval ratings have fallen from around 55% on taking office to roughly 20% today. Persistent and sometimes violent protests sparked by his tax reform efforts were exacerbated...

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