Gustavo Petro reaches one month in Colombia’s presidency seeking to implement key reforms for his administration
- Posted by Colombia
- On Wednesday September 14th, 2022
- 0 Comments
The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, celebrates his first month as president with the pursuit of a series of political and economic reforms, a shake-up in the military forces, as well as a favorable trend in the polls that give him the confidence to continue his way to his first 100 days.
Changes in the Defense sector
In one of the most controversial decisions, he has announced so far, and in a total overturn of the country’s defense policy, Petro ordered to suspend aerial bombardments against illegal armed groups during the internal conflict to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population, the death of forcibly recruited minors and as a gesture to move towards total peace.
Shake-up in the military forces
Upon his arrival, the president renewed the line of command of the Armed Forces and the Police, appointing commanders of these forces to officers who had no accusations of corruption or human rights violations, and asked them to promote a security policy that defends life, reported Reuters. In Petro’s shake-up of the defense sector, 23 generals retired.
He also pledged to remove the National Police from the Ministry of Defense and transfer it to a new Ministry of Peace, Security, and Coexistence.
Peace talks with ELN and other armed groups.
This is another of Petro’s bets during his mandate and to start moving broken dialogues since 2019 after an ELN terrorist attack in Bogota, the president suspended arrest and extradition orders for those who resume the role of negotiators with the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Extradition and the fight against drugs
Petro, who has repeatedly said that “the war on drugs has been a complete failure,” outlined a proposal on the day of his presidential inauguration that has to do with a new approach: a bill his government recently presented to Congress to legalize recreational marijuana.
For while Colombian law already permits the production of cannabis for medical purposes, mainly for export to foreign markets such as the United States and Canada, supporters of the new legislation believe that only the legalization of recreational cannabis can draw thousands of farmers away from the drug trade and into the licit market and commerce.
This is perhaps one of Petro’s most immediate objectives. From his second day as president, Petro has moved his chips to present a tax reform that will allow him to collect some 25 trillion pesos by 2023. The reform proposes the reduction of benefits for those with incomes above 10 million pesos per month (about $2,200 at the current exchange rate); the introduction of taxes on sugary drinks and ultra-processed foods.