Petro, Gustavo

Article

July 6, 2022

Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego (Spanish: Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego, ɡusˈtaβo fɾanˈsisko ˈpe.tɾo uˈreɣo; born April 19, 1960, Ciénaga de Oro) is a Colombian political and statesman, economist and former rebel. Senator (2014-2018), presidential candidate in 2010, 2018 and 2022. President-elect of Colombia since June 19, 2022.

Biography

Gustavo Petro was born on April 19, 1960 in the city of Ciénaga de Oro (Province of Cordoba, Colombia). He studied at the College Hermanos de La Salle in Zipaquira (department of Cundinamarca). At the age of 17, as a student, he joined the leftist guerrilla group 19 April Movement (M-19), which arose in protest against election fraud. He was engaged in military and political activity, became one of the leaders of the group, and was also elected Ombudsman of Zipaquira. In 1985, he was arrested for illegal possession of weapons and sentenced to 18 months. Shortly after his arrest, M-19 carried out the takeover of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, killing at least 98 people. Petro denies any involvement in the attack. By the time Petro was released in 1987, he had come to the conclusion that armed revolution was not the best strategy to win popular support, and two years later M-19 entered into peace negotiations with the Colombian state. After the amnesty, Petro participated in the formation of the political party Democratic Alliance M-19 (AD M-19). After the dissolution of M-19, he studied at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Externado Colombia, then studied public administration at the Graduate School of Public Administration. He studied at the Pontifical University of Bogota, where he received a master's degree in economics. He continued his studies in Belgium at the Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Salamanca.

Political career

In 1990-1991 he was an adviser to the government of the province of Cundinamarca. Member of the Colombian House of Representatives from 1991-1994 and 1998-2006. From 1994-1996 he served as First Secretary of the Embassy of Colombia in Belgium. In 2002, he was elected to the Congress for Bogota from the political movement Vía Alterna, founded by him with Antonio Navarro Wolf and other former M-19 comrades. During this period, he was named the "Best Congressman" by his fellow members of the Parliament.