Colombia’s Left Is on the Brink of a Historic Breakthrough - Mikael Wolfe & Christian Robles-Baez

Colombia’s Left Is on the Brink of a Historic Breakthrough

Left-wing Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro gives a thumbs up during a campaign rally on May 11, 2022, in Fusagasugá, Colombia. (Guillermo Legaria...

Left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro is still leading the polls ahead of this month’s Colombian presidential election. If he succeeds, Petro will have to overcome the dark legacy of Colombia’s hard-right oligarchy and a shameful history of US intervention.

or the first time in its modern history, Colombia may well elect a left-wing president in the presidential elections this May 29. Polls have consistently placed the former M-19 guerrilla member, senator, and mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, well ahead of his right-wing opponent, Federico Gutiérrez.

While Petro’s best polling scores would still not be high enough for him to avoid a second-round runoff on June 19, the fact that he is the clear front-runner is remarkable enough in itself. Twenty years ago, when the hard-right politician and steadfast US ally Álvaro Uribe won the presidency, it was unthinkable that the Colombian left might gain power through elections.

What has changed in the meantime, and what implications might a left-wing victory in the upcoming election have for US policy toward Colombia and Latin America more broadly?

Read the full article HERE.