Indigenous peoples, afro, gypsies and peasants of Colombia handed over the presidential command this Saturday to the leftist Gustavo Petro in a symbolic ceremony in Bogotá on the eve of his official inauguration on August 7.
“I receive this popular and spiritual mandate with great emotion”, said the 62-year-old former senator and former guerrilla fighter after participating in an ancestral ritual in a central park in the capital.
Look: Gustavo Petro: which presidents and leaders will attend his inauguration on August 7?
Thousands of people waved flags from different social organizations and shouted slogans in favor of the first leftist government in the history of Colombia.
“That the country can then be a country of peace, of environmental justice, of social justice”, added Petro from a platform, heavily escorted.
The communities handed the president a document with their main demands: peace in remote territories, defense of the environment, protection of minorities, transformation of anti-drug policies, defense of human rights, renewal of the armed forces, among others. others.
“We share our deep feeling of happiness and responsibility for the arrival of this political project born in the bowels of the people and characterized by the interest in contributing to change”pointed out one of the indigenous spokeswomen.
Petro He will assume power on Sunday to replace the conservative Iván Duque (2018-2022) for a period of four years, without the possibility of re-election by constitutional order.
Its elected vice president, the environmentalist Francia Márquez, participated in the traditional ceremony and received the same slogans from the communities.
“The government of nobodies and nobodies begins and we go from resistance to power until dignity becomes customary”said the 40-year-old Afro-descendant.
In a country of 50 million inhabitants, punished by inflation (10.2%) year-on-year), unemployment (11.7%) and poverty (39%), the elected government proposes a battery of reforms to reduce the gap between rich and poor, protect the environment, among other objectives.
“(I am going to) fight for social justice in one of the most aberrantly unequal societies on Earth,” got engaged Petro amid applause.