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Colombia: How the Left Rekindled Hope



Colombia: How the Left Rekindled Hope

Per Javier Castro Cruz e Jaime Brothel GilEm Bounce | Translation: Roni Rodriguez

A historic pact, the left-wing candidate led by Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez leads all polls and is already starting with an advantage with a strong showing in the March 13 legislative elections. The left has never been so close to power in a very conservative country where a bloody conflict between the Colombian state and guerrillas has blocked progressive alternatives.


Today, however, Colombian society has changed a lot, and the left’s agenda of redistribution, peace, and fighting corruption seems to be seducing the general population, especially the youth. accusations of partisans from the right no longer have the effect they had before, and, paradoxically, the left’s stance on the armed conflict has become one of their greatest assets in the face of the electoral dispute. The Colombian left has become the political option most committed to peace, and its commitment to the 2016 Accords is the strongest of any candidate represented in this Sunday’s May 29th election.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the right is in deep crisis, meaning that for the first time in years, uribismo is not running its own candidate. The political current led by former President Alvaro Uribe, to which current President Ivan Duque belongs, had a mandate that would be better forgotten. [para a direita]marked by social unrest and ongoing protests against his government. His mismanagement of the country, coupled with the conviction of Alvaro Uribe for witness bribery and procedural fraud, has left this political space in a more delicate position than ever.

In this context, the candidacy led by Petro succeeded in offering a horizon of change that is more in line with the desire for peace and the demands for social justice that Colombian society has been proclaiming on the streets of late.

November 21: The explosion that changed everything

November 21, 2019 was an important milestone in the history of social mobilization in Colombia. What initially began as a national strike organized by trade unions against the neo-liberal economic measures of the Duque government soon became a symbol of discontent with the government. Various organized movements in society, such as students, feminists, people of African descent, indigenous and peasant communities, took to the streets and staged a series of mass marches that lasted three weeks and provoked a social explosion that will break out with great force in 2021. , after parentheses imposed by the pandemic.

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Sanda Borda, author of the book stop to move forward, describes how the historical character of the marches lies in the many, varied and unusual nature of the mobilizations, the result of a profound transformation of the political culture and social protest in Colombia created during the peace process. The dynamism of the mobilization itself has made it possible to bring together endless demands, such as combating youth insecurity, full application of the 2016 Peace Accords, condemnation of violence against community leaders, the struggle of women or the rights of indigenous peoples. communities. A whole mosaic of demands that contributed to the political activation of the youth, who were already actively present during the agreements and in the mobilizations that preceded the uprising. This phenomenon has been reflected in the political sphere, and, as happened in Chile with Gabriel Borich, young people are the age group most supportive of the Historical Pact. A factor that can be fundamental to getting a good result in the first round.

One of the great virtues of the Historical Pact was the understanding of the changes that had taken place in Colombian society in recent years, in response to the many new demands that arose as a result of the social uprising. According to the latest reports from the Latin American Center for Geopolitical Studies (CELAG), corruption and poverty are the country’s top concerns for Colombians, with only 15% listing crime and drug trafficking as the number one. A context that clearly favors the left, which has been out of power for decades and has a program to redistribute wealth and reduce social inequality, unlike the right, which has been heavily discredited since Ivan Duque came to power.

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A crisis on right

The resumption of the nationwide strike in April 2021 after the announcement of the tax reform resulted in the consolidation of two trends: the ability of the left to expand its electoral base and the discrediting of Urib’s right. On the one hand, the left was able to expand its space by adding the socio-economic demands that arose from the mobilization of the popular strata; on the other hand, the Right was sinking deeper and deeper into a crisis of projects and leadership that they could not yet resolve.

This crisis is expressed in the candidacy of Federico “Fico” Gutierrez, a non-partisan candidate who, despite the support of Alvaro Uribe’s party, tried to appear as little as possible with the former president. In the same vein, some gestures, such as the election of Rodrigo Lara, elector Sim no plebiscite [para o processo de paz com a guerrilha]like the VP formula. And, ironically, merging sectors close to former President Uribe could jeopardize one of Gutiérrez’s candidacy’s main goals: to win the political center. If the right wants to be able to govern, they will seduce the center, which in 2018 was afraid to vote for Petro and chose Ivan Duque.

The problem is that this is a more difficult mission than ever for an uribismo-backed candidate who not only had a disastrous economic mandate, but also posed every possible obstacle to the implementation of the 2016 Peace Accords. A difficult and recurring question on the right. for they were one of the main points of discontinuity between the more moderate current and those closer to the former President Santos, who imposed them on his government, and others who considered them to be the stock of guerrillas led by Alvaro Uribe. Thus, this will undoubtedly be one of the issues on which Fico Gutiérrez distances himself from Uribe and his clan, as was seen a few weeks ago when he stated that his government would abide by the peace agreements.

The final stretch of the campaign, Fico Gutierrez hopes, will be marked by a certain balance with the Democratic Center, the party of Alvaro Uribe. Trying not to get into the frame without knocking out the sectors that he also needs to win will be a difficult task. There will also be leftists, more united than ever before, who seek to break the historical cycle and start a phase of change in the country.

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Um historical pact

Nominating a single candidacy was no easy task for the Colombian left. The historical pact was born out of an imperfect heterogeneity, as Luciana Cadahya points out, involving various parties and movements with the goal of accepting the desire for change in Colombia. Far from a revolutionary program, the coalition led by Peter seeks to formulate a social bloc capable of strengthening democracy and peace in the country. Reforming the welfare model, advancing agrarian and tax reforms, improving public education, returning to the public health system, or moving away from extractive industries are some of the equity and social justice challenges that a possible progressive government will face.

The development of social and ethnic leadership, formed during the peace agreements in the territories, was another key to the success of the Historical Pact. The protagonist provided to these figures allowed the coalition to single out numerous sectors and cease to be permanently associated with the guerrillas. Perhaps the most obvious example is Francia Marquez. Vice presidential candidate Gustavo Petro has become a real political phenomenon after her incredible performance in cross-party consultations. While her social and political leadership was strengthened in her community’s environmental rights to the territory and in her opposition to forced evictions, her candidacy was also able to represent the struggles of Colombian feminist and anti-racist movements.

This heterogeneity is today the greatest asset of the Historical Pact. An opportunity to present a series of struggles ranging from the classical left to feminist, anti-racist and environmental movements. The historic pact seeks to be the voice of thousands of sentiments for peaceful change in Colombia.

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Politicians call for investigation into president’s sexual harassment case



Politicians call for investigation into president's sexual harassment case

Brazilian politicians have called for an “investigation” and removal of Caixa Econômica’s federal president, Pedro Duarte Guimarães, after allegations of sexual harassment were made by employees of the Metrópoles website. Reported cases include unauthorized intimate touching, inappropriate approaches, and incompatible job offers.

Republican pre-candidate Simone Tebet (MDB) stressed that “sexual harassment is a crime” and called for “strict and immediate” investigations. The senator also said that the president of the bank should be removed from office immediately until the investigations are completed.

“The bank lives off trust, and the state bank cannot allow a potential harasser to the highest position in the institution,” he wrote on Twitter.

Sen. Randolph Rodriguez (Rede-AP) stressed that the allegations are “serious.” The parliamentarian lamented the case after a week of “destructive news of sexual violence”.

“I just asked that Guimarães be summoned to the Human Rights Commission,” he said.

Preliminary candidate for the Chamber of Deputies in this year’s elections, Guilherme Boulos (PSOL) said that “Bolsonarism does not fail”. The politician also demanded an investigation and punishment.

Federal MP Jandira Fegali (PCdoB-RJ) emphasized that women are in danger everywhere and that “not even in a corporate environment, but in a large state bank” they are saved. The MP said she was “disgusted” and demanded “investigation and punishment.”

Pedro Guimarães has been President of Caixa since the current government came to power. The head of the state-owned company is often present at events near Jair Bolsonaro (PL), in addition to participating several times in the president’s weekly live broadcast.

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Loss of public revenue due to cuts in ICMS and delay in completion of PT plans – Papo Político



POLITICAL TALK | June 28, 2022

Loss of government revenue due to ICMS cuts and delays in completing PT plates

Sileide Alves comes to Papo Política to say that the Goiás government will have to redo the math, since after the announcement of ICMS cuts to cut fuel, government revenues could lose about 3 million reais. In addition, she comments on the PT’s delay in nominating candidates for governor, vice president and senator. This was expected to happen at the regional meeting held over the weekend, but it didn’t.



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Why the political core of Bolsonaro’s campaign is in an atmosphere of defeat | Malu Gaspar



Why the political core of Bolsonaro's campaign is in an atmosphere of defeat |  Malu Gaspar

Centrão was disappointed not only because General Braga Netto was elected as Jair Bolsonaro’s deputy instead of federal deputy Teresa Cristina (PP-MS).

The so-called “political wing” of the campaign is in a state of awakening, and the reason is Bolsonaro’s own behavior.

Election 2022: MEC crisis consolidates Braga Netto as Bolsonaro’s vice

fuel crisis: The arrival of Paez de Andrade at Petrobras forces the company’s management to outline an “escape plan”

The fact that the President stated in an interview this Sunday that went through the former Minister of Agriculture, in favor of the general, only worsened the situation, which had already been sour since the end of last week.

This is because the president ignored all the recommendations of marketer Duda Lima regarding a trip to the northeast between Thursday and Saturday.

Emergency plan: The core of Bolsonaro’s campaign developed a “cord cutting” strategy with Milton Ribeiro.

On Wednesday, Lima and the active core of the campaign, which includes ministers Ciro Nogueira and Braga Netto, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ) and PL national president Valdemar da Costa Neto, presented a strategic plan to the President. for the next 100 days of the campaign.

Between late afternoon and Wednesday evening, Lima made a presentation suggesting that Bolsonaro use every opportunity he has in the northeast to defend Auxílio Brasil and other job-creating initiatives to try and convince voters who today decided to support the candidacy of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

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Election 2022: Why Bolsonaro’s resilience at Datafolha is good news for PT members

The trip to the northeast was fundamental to this work, since it is in this region that Bolsonaro is most often denied. According to the latest Datafolha poll, 55% of Brazilians would not vote for an incumbent president. Among residents of the Northeast, contempt reaches 62%.

The material presented to the president on Wednesday contained a list of programs, as well as what the president should say about each of them in his speeches. After watching the presentation, Bolsonaro praised the plan and said he agreed with everything.

Strategy: How Bolsonaro thinks he can lose his image because of high fuel prices

But in the days that followed, the expected “total focus on the social” turned into a series of speeches about the Milton Ribeiro case, the President’s unfounded suspicions about electronic voting machines and a behind-the-scenes war with the Supreme Court, than about social programs or government achievements. which ultimately went unnoticed.

Friday d.after the release of an audio recording in which the former Minister of Education told his daughter that Bolsonaro had a “premonition” that there would be searches and seizures, the President also canceled a dinner with political leaders from Paraiba.

IEC crisis: The sound is serious and could make Bolsonaro charged with 3 crimes, prosecutors estimate

“The risk of defeat is only increasing,” lamented one of the participants in the attempt to coordinate the work of the campaign yesterday afternoon. “The president does everything to lose” is the assessment that most often sounds around Bolsonaro, but which no one has the courage to express to him directly.

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The concern is mutual: Bolsonaro did not privately criticize the LP, the marketing campaign and the legal team, which is why he ignored the advice he received.

In this context, the decision not to appoint Teresa Cristina as an MP is seen in Centrão as a missed opportunity to create positive facts to “shake up the campaign”.

Judicial branch: The judge who saved Ribeiro is STJ’s favorite and has a history of making pro-government decisions.

In addition to attracting the female electorate, another object of rejection of the head of Planalto, Centrão felt that the image of a woman with a more political profile and the image of the director could “soften” the radicalism of a purely ideological ticket.

“In our planning, June was supposed to be a turning point month, but so far we have only accumulated problems,” says the campaign strategist.

Data sheet: Lyra ‘predicted’ Bolsonaro to lead this month’s polls

For a general who worked at the highest level of government, the Bolsonaro-Braga Netto ticket ended up looking like “bread with êpa!” There is nothing inside,” he defines.

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