Sink or Swim: Total Peace Under Petro

What Petro can achieve in furthering peace will determine whether the enthusiasm that propelled him to victory will quickly turn into disillusionment and whether Colombia’s peace process will sink or swim.

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A resurgence of violence in Colombia

Last Friday, the helicopter of President of Colombia Iván Duque was struck by multiple bullets as it approached the airport of the city of Cúcuta, capital of the Norte de Santander region, located on the Venezuelan border. No passengers were injured by the small-arms fire, although Duque’s government released photographs showing the helicopter’s exterior lacerated by bullet holes. The attack occurred in the context of escalating levels of violence in Colombia—as the landmark 2016 peace deal signed with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) lurches unsteadily toward its fifth anniversary—and record-low approval ratings for President Duque.

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Iván Duque, the ex-president

Although Iván Duque still has 14 months left in his term as President of Colombia, all indicators suggest that his post-presidential influence will be significantly diminished compared to that of other former presidents. Actions taken during his tenure—including the timid implementation of the peace agreement, the escalation of violence in rural areas, and the violent police crackdown on recent protests—have already begun to cloud assessments of his presidency. Is there still time for Duque to salvage his legacy?

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