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Colombia’s New President Gustavo Petro: Biden Team Aware the War on Drugs Has Failed | GZERO World

Colombia's new president Gustavo Petro: Biden team aware the war on drugs has failed

Colombia has long been the United States' staunchest ally in Latin America. It's also been one of the longest standing democracies in the region. But it has never elected a leftist leader....until now.

Last June, former Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro made history eking out a narrow victory in the presidential election. Since being sworn into office last month, he has signaled a radically more liberal policy agenda.

He's also said he's ready to reassess the historically close US-Colombia relationship. In an exclusive GZERO World interview with Ian Bremmer, Petro's first broadcast interview with US media since taking office, Bremmer asks the new president if he thinks the United States wants to help him.

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Annie Gugliotta.

Colombians want change, but what kind?

Against a backdrop of grinding inequality, rising violence, and widespread frustration with the political class, Colombians head to the polls on Sunday in the first round of what could be a watershed election for one of Latin America’s largest economies.

The past several years have been tumultuous for Colombians. The pandemic pushed 3.5 million of them into poverty, raising the overall rate to more than 40% of the population. Unemployment is running above 10 percent and inflation is at a 21-year high. There were mass urban protests over inequality in 2019 and a botched tax reform in 2021. Both led to deadly clashes with the police.

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