For the first time in its recent history the Republic of Colombia will have a left-wing national government. After being in power for the last 20 years, the Uribist political hegemony lost control of the presidency at the June 19 polls. This event, unprecedented in the traditionally conservative country of Colombia, reflects new realities, which it is opportune to analyze, both for their impact at the national level and also for the repercussions that will be felt throughout Latin America.
Last year Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Honduras chose new governments, joining other countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Colombia has now joined this list, and Brazil could soon do so too in the presidential elections scheduled for next October, in which Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s chances of becoming the next president are growing.
The political swing to the left that has seen the triumph of Gustavo Petro as the new Colombian president is not identical to those in Colombia’s neighbors and deserves to be considered individually. The article analyzes this political evolution in its national and Latin American dimensions. What is the context of Petro’s victory? Will he be able to guarantee his ability to lead the country? What position will Uribism take? What kind of left wing party does the new Colombian president represent? Who will be his effective opposition? Will his government cause any shift in balance in Latin America? There are just some of many questions, whose answers would prove useful for a better understanding of this new political scenario.