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Is Colombia’s Petro showing his true colors?

Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro.


Colombia’s leftist President Gustavo Petro sacked much of his cabinet earlier this week in a move that suggests the headstrong former guerrilla might be moving in a more confrontational direction after just eight months in office.

Evidently frustrated by opposition to his sweeping health care reform plans, Petro booted several centrist parties from his government, removing Finance Minister José Antonio Ocampo, whom investors had seen as the key guardian of Colombia’s fiscal stability.

Rewind: When Petro was elected as the country’s first left-wing president last August, he worked hard to reassure his critics that although he’d been given a mandate to shake up an elite-dominated system, he was also a consensus-minded leader. But with his approval ratings sagging and his reform agenda stalled, is Petro betting on a more radical approach now?

The biggest risk is that Petro can, if he chooses, call millions into the streets to put pressure on legislators. This was a trick he pulled back when he was mayor of the capital, Bogotá. But in a country as deeply polarized as Colombia, things could get ugly fast. Buckle up.

Check out GZERO Media's exclusive interview with President Petro here.


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