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Editorial 29

Written by July 21 2022 0

Politically centrist Colombian President Ivan Duque delivered a kind and honest farewell speech to the incoming Colombian Congress on July 20, as a nervous nation prepares for an erratic, demagogic incoming President Gustavo Petro on August 7.

Duque, who beat Petro in a landslide election four years ago, offered only kind words to Petro: “To the next administration, and to President-elect Gustavo Petro, we wish him success in his administration. Our priority is and always will be Colombia. Next August 7, when I recover my status as a citizen, my voice will always be attentive to build solutions for our nation.”

What a contrast to the demagogic messages of hatred and lying that Petro employed during the 2022 presidential campaign, which ultimately led Petro’s social-media campaign chief Sebastian Guanumen to apologize publicly for falsely spreading millions of malicious “narcotrafico” accusations against third-place, centrist Presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez.

In what appears to be a continued pattern of lying and manipulation, Petro has since moderated his tone and has successfully converted most of the incoming Congress parties to support new, less-radical versions of his prior, fantastical legislative proposals, which included promises to give 3 million government jobs to all unemployed people and waste billions more of scarce government dollars in a delirious scheme that would have the government buy Colombia’s coal and then let it sit unused, supposedly to prevent climate change.

In contrast, here are highlights of Duque’s July 20 farewell speech to Congress, unfortunately met by undemocratic jeers from pro-Petro, left-wing extremist members of the incoming Congress:

“A pandemic of magnitudes never imagined hit the entire world and was present for 30 months of the 48 months of our administration, being the greatest challenge that any Colombian President has ever faced,” Duque pointed-out.

“The covid-19 pandemic caused unprecedented poverty, desolation, job losses, border and business closures, and economic stagnation, triggering a global recession.

“We had to suspend classes in schools and universities, limit interactions, restrict work activities and ask Colombians to stay at home for the first time in our history, through mandatory preventive isolation.

“To this was added the greatest migratory crisis that America has had, with millions of our Venezuelan brothers wandering throughout the world, and most of them through our country, seeking refuge from dictatorial oppression.

“Also, a category-5 hurricane hit our island territories for the first time, then waves of violence [spurred by hateful messages from Petro] that tried to block the country, affecting the rights of millions of people voicing valid social claims for historical debts never settled, and with a dark panorama of exponential growth of illicit drug crops, among others.

“But nothing stopped us on the path of transforming the country. Today Colombia has put equity first, achieving historical milestones in social spending, advances in education, including free public university education for the poorer populations of strata 1, 2 and 3, and with the greatest health coverage in our history.

“Today our country consolidates policies to defeat hunger and malnutrition, grows in renewable energy generation, is an example of migration policy, leads climate action in the region, advances in its infrastructure and creates opportunities with peace with legality.”

Also during the speech, Duque pointed to historic advances in construction of crucial public highways, with Antioquia a notable beneficiary thanks to development of the Pacifico 1 and Pacifico 2 highways linking Medellin southwestward to the Pacific port of Buenaventura, as well as the new Mar 1 and Mar 2 highways linking Medellin to new Atlantic ports.

In addition, Duque pointed to billions of dollars of government subsidies helping millions of workers temporarily displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic to survive that crisis. What’s more, as of today, Colombia has recovered nearly 100% of the jobs lost during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s outstanding response to the Covid-19 pandemic – praised by leading health organizations world-wide – resulted in nearly all of the most vulnerable populations getting free vaccinations, without the deceptions, vacillations and demagoguery that unfortunately typified the Covid-19 response during the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, in a July 19 speech to a foreign-investor conference here, President Duque added that “if we preserve foreign direct investment with certainty, with confidence, with clear regulations, and above all, giving peace of mind that we are not in some kind of lurch in regulatory policy, then Colombia will continue to consolidate itself as the most attractive place in Latin America and the Caribbean for foreign direct investment.”

“Investment is very difficult to attract and very easy to scare away, as we are competing with all the countries of the world to see if we can attract more pesos from here and from there, and that cannot be achieved without incentives, without clear rules, and without certainty,” he stressed.

Wise words that incoming President Petro might keep in mind if he really has any interest in seeing Colombia continue its long march out of historic poverty and a further broadening of a progressive, well-educated, hopeful, creative and energetic middle class.

Written by June 20 2022 0

With 100% of votes now counted, socialist-populist Gustavo Petro won Colombia’s presidency last night with 11.28 million votes (50.4%) versus 10.58 million votes (47.3%) for a similarly unbelievable populist, former Bucaramanga Mayor Rodolfo Hernandez.

Out of Colombia’s 39 million eligible voters, Petro won 28.9% of that total -- meaning 71% of Colombia’s voters didn’t vote for Petro or fantastical social-spending promises.

Those spending promises provoked rival presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo – a mathematics professor – to show with detailed charts that Petro’s programs are in fact mathematically impossible, costing more than COP$130 trillion (US$33 billion) above the nation’s already debt-ridden economy, with no rational revenue-offsets proposed.

Having stagnated at 8.5 million votes last month in the first-round presidential voting -- the same number he got in his losing 2018 presidential candidacy -- Petro subsequently  pivoted his messages more toward the center for the second round, mainly by recruiting well-known former Colombian economics expert Rudolf Hommes and Health Ministry expert Alejandro Gaviria to promised Cabinet positions.

Ironically, Gaviria only weeks prior had publicly described Petro’s proposed economic programs as “suicide for Colombia.”

Those chameleon moves --- plus what Colombia’s mainsteam media described as one of the most corrupt and dishonest (but effective) campaigns in the nation’s history – successfully convinced another 2.7 million voters to roll the dice on Petro (the devil you know) versus Hernandez (the devil you don’t know).

Notably, the more rational, business-oriented Medellin and Antioquia areas once again voted overwhelmingly against Petro in this latest round, having earlier voted overwhelmingly for former Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez in the first round.

But voters in the more government-dependent cities including Bogota, Cartagena, Santa Marta and the Atlantic coast -- along with the narco-dominated Pacific regions -- tipped the scales for Petro.

In his rambling victory speech last night, Petro stated that “love” is the key to moving Colombia forward.

But it was class-hatred and lies that dominated Petro’s campaign messages, including the most outrageous lie – repeated through millions of corrupt, boiler-room social-media messages that he authorized-- asserting that third-place presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez was a narco gangster.

In response, Colombia’s mainstream news magazine Semana published campaign videos -- taken by a disgruntled Petro campaign worker -- showing the extent of corruption and lying used by the Petro campaign, which news organizations across Colombia quickly dubbed as “Petrovideos.”

But the “Petrovideos” scandal wasn’t enough to convince enough voters to choose Hernandez over Petro. In what could be compared to a story by Nobel prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the voting result can now only be described as “magical surrealism.”

Among the fantastical Petro campaign promises, which will face an uncertain fate in Colombia’s divided Congress, starting this August:

Giving government jobs to 3 million unemployed people, without any rhyme, reason or viable funding source;

Accelerating the destruction of Colombia’s fiscally crucial oil-and-gas industry;

Buying all of Colombia’s coal output and letting it sit unused (supposedly to fight climate change);

Building an economically incoherent, multi-billion-dollar freight-rail network that supposedly would offload containers in the Pacific and then ship them overland through Colombia’s eastern plains to the Atlantic (even though shippers inevitably would employ the far-cheaper Panama Canal option);

Building a passenger rail line to Venezuela, without any logical reason given;

Confiscating the pensions of 18 million tax-paying Colombians in order to give pensions to people who never contributed anything to any pension fund;

Converting Colombia’s flawed-but-improving mixed, public-private health system to a vastly underfunded, government-run system; and

Telling Colombia’s Attorney-General to set free “young people” from Colombia’s jails, claiming that they were all imprisoned unjustly during the violent riots that Petro helped provoke in 2021.

Written by May 30 2022 0

Defying pollsters and traditional punsters, former Bucaramanga Mayor Rodolfo Hernandez soundly beat favored contender and former Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez in the first-round Colombian national elections May 29 -- hence pitting Hernandez against stagnating socialist Gustavo Petro in the final round June 19.

With 100% of the votes now counted, Petro yesterday got the same 8.5 million votes (40.3%) he got in his last losing candidacy (in 2018, soundly beaten by centrist moderate Ivan Duque), while Hernandez got 5.8 million votes (28.1%), Gutierrez got 5.06 million votes (23.9%) and former center-left Antioquia Governor Sergio Fajardo came in fourth with 888,000 votes (4.2%).

With the third-place Gutierrez immediately endorsing second-place Hernandez for the final election round, simple math -- and staunch anti-Petro voter sentiment – shows the likely combination of Gutierrez voters (23.9%) plus the Hernandez voters (28.1%) would easily beat Petro in the final elections on June 19, at 52% combined for Hernandez versus roughly 42-45% for Petro.

While anything can happen between now and June 19, at least Colombia now has undeniable mathematical facts -- from a real-world election -- rather than counting upon speculative pollsters and punsters.

In his public appearances, Hernandez had offered no specific political program in his candidacy, aside from portraying himself as an anti-establishment outsider promising to fight corruption and complacency. A clumsy public speaker and debater, he failed to show up for various televised debates among the first-round candidates.

Pundits have described the sometimes brusque, combative Hernandez as something like the rude, crude former U.S. President Donald Trump. Hernandez similarly doesn’t seem to have a clear political ideology (as was often the case with Trump, a political chameleon for decades). Latest example: Having first supported oil-and-gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the use of glifosato for aerial spraying of coca crops (the source of cocaine), now he says he's against both fracking and spraying.

Unlike career politicians (such as Petro and Gutierrez), Hernandez, now 77 years old, is a civil engineer and owner of the Constructora HG construction company in Colombia's northern city of Bucaramanga.

His father, Luis Jesús Hernández, was just one of the thousands of kidnapping victims of Colombia’s narco-communist FARC-EP army, while his daughter Juliana likewise was kidnapped and murdered by the rival narco-communist ELN army in 2004 -- hence making Hernandez an understandable opponent of some of the left-wing extremist political forces with which Petro – himself a former M-19 guerilla -- has shown relative softness and forgiveness.

Rodolfo Hernandez made his first venture into politics in 2011 by backing Liberal Party candidate Luis Francisco Bohórquez for Mayor of Bucaramanga. But four years later, in 2015, Hernandez financed his own winning campaign for Mayor.

Along the way, Hernandez has gained a deserved reputation for hot-headedness, once slapping rival Bucaramanga City Councilman Jhon Claro, which triggered a three-month suspension of duties via a punitive demand brought by Colombia’s Procurador-General.

Later, a second infraction – this time for violating Colombia’s ban on elected officials participating in political campaigns (the same problem facing current Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero) – triggered another three-month suspension, brought by the Santander Department Regional Attorney's Office. That suspension triggered Hernandez’s decision to resign from office.

Some 18 months later, in 2021, Hernandez announced his candidacy for Colombian President, financing his campaign with his own funds.

His amateurish public-speaking capacities and occasional stupid statements – such as an instance where he intended to quote Albert Einstein but idiotically attributed the quote to Adolf Hitler – make him an easy target for Colombia’s more polished political class and its mainstream political journalists.

Unlike Petro, who favors abolishing all oil-and-gas exploration in Colombia, Hernandez supports continuation of Colombia oil-and-gas development. However, like Petro, Hernandez now says he doesn't support fracking. 

Meanwhile, Hernandez agrees with Petro on reestablishment of diplomatic relations with socialist Venezuela, the opening of peace negotiations with the ELN guerrillas, and decriminalization of abortion.

While Hernandez claims to be an anti-corruption champion, he admitted in 2019 that he didn’t deliver his promise as formerr Mayor of Bucaramanga to deliver 20,000 free lots for future homes for poor people there, triggering a lawsuit alleging campaign fraud. Also during his Bucaramanga mayorship, he was accused of trying to help engineer a municipal landfill contract that supposedly would have resulted in commissions for his son, an accusation he denied.

On another repugnant front, Hernández in 2019 referred to a candidate who aspired to succeed him as Bucaramanga mayor as a prostitute, triggering a lawsuit by associations representing sex workers and feminist groups.

Then, during this year’s presidential campaign, Hernandez issued a gaffe stating that “people don't like women involved in government,” but later clarified that he only meant that his wife would have no role in government should he become President.

Ironically, the issue about “women in government” became clearer when Hernandez named as his vice-presidential running-mate Marelen Castillo, a Cali-born academic who would become Colombia’s first Afro-Colombian vice president -- just like Gustavo Petro’s VP running-mate, Francia Marquez.

The 53-year-old Castillo launched her academic career as a biologist and chemist at Santiago de Cali University, followed by a stint as an industrial engineer at Colombia’s Autonomous University del Occidente, and then later by pursuing a doctorate in education at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, USA.

She also worked as academic vice-rector at Colombia’s “Minuto de Dios University,” founded by renowned Catholic priest Rafael García Herreros, whose radio homilies were followed by millions of devout Colombians. In a similar vein, Castillo later took a post as Dean at the Lumen Gentium Catholic University Foundation.

Written by May 06 2022 0

A sometimes-popular belief that just legalizing cocaine would eliminate Colombia’s bloody wars among violent gangs (and their left-wing or right-wing extremist allies) – while providing a policy alternative to the Colombian government’s flawed attempts to corral the trade -- is pure nonsense, according to a remarkable Brookings Institution publication quoting Colombian experts.

“Legalizing Drugs and Illegal Economies is No Panacea for Latin America and the Rest of the World” is the title of the report, by Colombian drug-policy experts Vanda Felbab-Brown and Catalina Niño (see: https://www.brookings.edu/on-the-record/legalizing-drugs-and-illegal-economies-is-no-panacea-for-latin-america-and-the-rest-of-the-world/).

Felbab-Brown and Niño -- both experts at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation here in Colombia (FESCOL) -- originally published their findings (in Spanish) in Colombia’s intellectual magazine, “El Malpensante.”

Fortunately, the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution – one of North America’s leading independent think-tanks – has since translated that report to English, enabling a much-wider global audience to understand why hard-drug legalization in Colombia (or elsewhere) is no panacea.

The experts instead offer alternative -- but not simple -- solutions for Colombia’s (and the world’s) chronic drug-trade problems.

The report is a fair warning to those who look for an “easy way out” to Colombia’s problematic drug wars -- and the massive social violence and population displacements that result.

One such nebulous proposal is the recent “amnesty” scheme that socialist-populist Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro has proposed for Colombia’s drug kingpins and their affiliated corrupt politicians.

Such a scheme would merely institutionalize and further incentivize violent drug gangs and their political pals in Bogota and elsewhere, the report finds.

Below we summarize and highlight the remarkable findings of this report, now freely available on the Brookings Institution web-site:

“Organized crime and illicit economies are enormously varied and diverse, highly dynamic and adaptive and innovative, with innovation often emerging in response to law enforcement actions,” Felbab-Brown explains in the report, presented in question-and-answer format.

“The illicit economies involve a wide scope of commodities and services, with some of the most iconic ones including drug trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, illegal logging and mining, poaching and wildlife trafficking, smuggling in counterfeiting of goods, cybercrime, gun smuggling and money laundering.

“Illicit economies and organized crime groups pose a wide variety of threats to states and societies, but they also bring various socio-economic and semi-public-goods services to vast segments of marginalized populations around the world.

“Hundreds of millions of people are dependent on illicit economies for basic livelihoods, social mobility, and access to public goods, such as street security [like protection rackets], and thus the sponsors of illicit economies – criminal and militant groups or corrupt states and politicians – derive vast political capital from sponsoring them,” she explains.

While mass imprisonment of ordinary drug users has to date proved ineffective and wasteful, “with the exception of cannabis, I do not support drug legalization,” she explains.

The rationale: “Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, synthetic opioids, and methamphetamine are highly addictive and the substance-use disorder can destroy the lives of users, their families, and communities as much as imprisonment can.

“The United States has been going through the most devastating drug epidemic ever in U.S. history – the opioid epidemic. It started with legal prescription drugs and eventually mutated into heroin and then synthetic opioids,” she explains.

“Those who believe that legalization will solve problems of drug policy should learn from the U.S. disaster, and its equivalent in Canada where extensive harm-reduction approaches almost melted underneath the onslaught of commercialized legal prescription opioids.

“Those very same companies and their international branches that unleashed the opioid epidemic in the United States are actively promoting the same disastrous and nefarious policies abroad, including in Latin America, in places such as Brazil and Mexico.

“On the supply side, I warn of premature and highly counterproductive eradication of drug crops without alternative legal livelihoods being in place. Such policies strengthen the political capital of criminal and militant groups.

“But that doesn’t mean, once again, that I believe drug trafficking should be legalized. Instead, I often urge prioritizing in targeting the non-intensive-labor-side of drug trafficking, such as by targeting trafficking. Creating legal jobs on a sufficient scale should be a critical element of most strategies for dealing with drug economies . . .

“Legalization will merely allow criminals to operate in a newly legal economy, often with the same violent practices as they practiced in the illegal space. Thus, avocado farming in Mexico is dominated by extortion by violent criminal groups, and fights over land and territorial control among them are as much about access to legal economies as to local drug retail markets or drug routes.”

Felbab-Brown then specifically cites historic problems of the war on drug trafficking in Colombia.

“Colombia is unique in the Andean region in how its political leaders and government officials are wedded to the so-called zero-coca policy – namely, that all coca needs to be eliminated in a particular area or community before the community receives any kind of socio-economic, alternative livelihoods, support from the state,” she explains.

“The zero-coca policy was the hallmark of the [former President Alvaro] Uribe administration, and is again a key feature of [current President Ivan] Duque administration – such as in the way the administration ties titles to all coca being eradicated in a community. It was also a policy of prior governments, including that of the [former President Juan Manuel] Santos administration, and goes back to the 1980s. Yet this zero-coca approach in Colombia has failed over and over again, and it will continue to fail.

“Destroying all coca rapidly is easy. Bringing in adequate legal livelihoods is hard and takes many more years than eradicating a particular coca plot, which only takes days.

“I’ve often urged, and want to emphasize again, that Colombia would benefit enormously from moving away from the zero-coca mindset. It should learn from effective strategies in Thailand and policy experimentation in Bolivia — demanding, for example, that in a development area, such as a PDET [‘Programas de Desarrollo con Enfoque Territorial,’ or (in English) Territorial Development Programs], each family eliminates 30% of its coca fields to start with, and once certain development targets are reached, another 20% or 30%, for example, would be eliminated.

“Such a sequenced approach gives both the communities and the state a stake in working toward the establishment of viable legal economies and livelihoods without leaving farmers who agree to eradicating their drug crops high-and-dry and without income, thus making them sour on collaborating with the state. The community could also be informed that once certain development targets are reached and legal income reaches and stays at certain level, all coca will be eradicated, forcibly if necessary.

“Eliminating all coca without alternative livelihoods already being actually in place, not merely promised, also generates violence, alienates local communities from the state, and thrusts them into the hands of violent nonstate actors.

“The right response from the state instead would be to prioritize secure delivery of goods and services to communities selected for legal rural development efforts, and to minimize access by violent trafficking groups.”

While anti-drug policies in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere may change in future, “I am skeptical, however, that in the next 15 years we will see any equivalent effort to legalize cocaine, heroin, or synthetic drugs,” she added.

“A rogue regime like the [President Nicolas] Maduro regime of Venezuela could possibly fantasize about it – but even that is unlikely, given its dependence on Russia and China. China and Russia have emerged as determined drug cops, increasingly active in promoting rigid, doctrinaire, unreconstructed tough-on-drug policies like the United States embraced in the 1980s, not just in regional settings like East or Central Asia but also at global multilateral fora.

“Any Latin American government that would seek to legalize the drug trade beyond cannabis and beyond permitting personal use would end up contending with strong opposition from China and Russia as well as the United States.

“The more likely shock to the drug systems in Latin America, and one that is potentially transformational, is a wholesale switch away from plant-based drugs in the United States -- with the exception of cannabis -- toward synthetic drugs.

“Already, a significant reason why U.S. drug users are still interested in cocaine is that fentanyl is being mixed into cocaine quite frequently. That also means that cocaine users are encountering fentanyl and synthetic drugs.

“Traffickers, and even dealers, prefer highly potent synthetic drugs such as fentanyl that are much superior to cocaine or heroin: Smuggling those drugs is very easy and does not require the same territorial control, nor therefore as much violence or corruption.

“Thus, one can contemplate a world in which the U.S. drug market is predominantly not supplied either by cocaine or drugs from Latin America – with the exception of Mexico, where fentanyl smuggling is already strongly established and production can easily develop.

“In such a world, Latin America, particularly the Andes, would lose a lot of relevance to the U.S. in terms of anti-coca and cocaine policies.

“Latin America itself could easily become the principal consumer of cocaine produced there, surpassing the market in Europe.

“Pressures to reduce its supply and production may start coming strongly from within Latin America, with countries such as Brazil and Argentina demanding that the Andean countries crack down on production.

“Alternatively, or simultaneously, new cocaine markets in East Asia, such as in China -- the development of which Latin American criminal groups are actively promoting -- could reinforce China’s embrace of a new role for itself as an international drug cop.

“And if Latin American countries allow themselves to be entrapped in China’s debt diplomacy, particularly as a result of seeking Chinese financial flows with bad terms as a result of Covid, then China would have high influence in demanding doctrinaire drug policies,” Felbab-Brown explains.

“Latin America may thus finally see the de-narcoticization of U.S. policy toward Latin America, for which the region so often asks.

“But such a de-narcoticization of U.S. policy toward Latin America could also come with an undesirable reduction of U.S. interest in and resources for economic and rural development, law enforcement institutions, and rule of law.

“The United States should avoid such a flip: Even if Latin America stops being a large source of illegal drugs for the United States, the United States should still strongly want to promote multifaceted policies to reduce violence and all kinds of criminality in the region, and to foster effective law enforcement and public safety, equitable development, and expansion of justice and rule of law to all citizens of Latin America,” she concluded.

Written by March 27 2022 0

Socialist-populist Colombian presidential candidate and former M-19 guerrilla Gustavo Petro last week released a 54-page campaign platform and governance program that points to:

 Confiscation of the private pensions of 18 million people here and forcing them into a grossly underfunded government system;
 Confiscation of Colombia’s flawed-but-improving private health system, replacing it with a politically-hacked, underfunded state-run system that Colombia had already suffered-under prior to a 1993 reform law;
 Confiscation and redistribution to his political pals whatever private farm lands that he-alone determines to be “unproductive;”
 “Unemployment elimination” not by incentivizing more jobs-creating investment, promoting better, 21st-century education and ensuring reasonable labor rules, but instead by promising to give political-hack government jobs to anyone lazy or brainless enough to want one, as in socialist Venezuela; and
 Accelerating the abolition of the Colombian government’s number-one source of income: its multi-billion-dollar-profits-producing oil-and-gas industry.

While leading Colombian economists now sarcastically term the Petro political program as “delirious,” it could just-as-well remind people of The Beatles’ sardonic 1968 pop hit, “Back in the USSR.”

It also could call- to-mind the hysterically ironic 1972 Democratic political campaign of one-time U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate and silver-spoon blue-blood Sargent Shriver, who famously paraded into several of Detroit’s ubiquitous blue-collar bars, yelling, “beer for everyone, Courvoisier for me.”

Or Poland’s famous labor-union leader and future democratic President Lech Wałęsa, who not only led the fight to free Poland from Soviet slavery but issued probably the all-time-greatest quip about Petro-style socialism: “It’s a system where the workers pretend to work, and the State pretends to pay them.”

Petro – currently a Colombian Senator, a former Bogota Mayor, and a man who apparently has never worked in any regular job in his life – lives in luxury in Bogota, sends his kids to private schools overseas, and this month flatly refused (like his political pals in socialist Venezuela) to condemn former KGB man and Russian president-for-life Vladimir Putin, who hides his billion-dollar collections of yachts and mansions all over Russia and Europe in cahoots with oligarch pals, while thousands of working-class, cannon-fodder Russian soldiers die in a grotesque “patriotic” invasion that’s killing and wounding thousands of Ukrainian innocents, leveling their cities and sending more-than-4-million fleeing to exile.

Ironically, this is the same Petro who not only claims that Colombia doesn’t have a democracy, but who also attacked freely elected former Colombian President and current Liberal Party leader Cesar Gaviria as supporting “fascism” – all because Gaviria publicly repudiated the “neoliberal” insult hurled against him by Petro’s running-mate, Francia Marquez.

Which begs the question: Who’s calling the pot black?

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About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

Medellin Herald welcomes your editorial contributions, comments and story-idea suggestions. Send us a message using the "contact" section.

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