Nearshore Americas

Corruption Scandals, Lack of Support are Sinking Gustavo Petro’s Political Project

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro finds himself entangled in a series of obstacles and controversies as his administration struggles to enact the reforms promised during his campaign.

From political scandals to stumbling peace negotiations, Petro’s government appears besieged by challenges from multiple directions.

Petro’s political project keeps hitting a wall due to a lack of necessary suppot in Congress, leaving his campaing promises of a labor reform, changes to the healthcare system and to the pension system unfulfilled.

Consensus among lawmakers about President Petro’s promises remains elusive. Consequently, citizens have been left frustrated by diminishing private involvement in health services and pension systems, sparking protests.

A significant blow came with Colombia’s loss of the opportunity to host the 2027 Pan American Games, reportedly due to payment issues. Coupled with mounting inflation and sluggish economic growth, public disillusionment with the government’s economic management keeps climbing.

Further tarnishing Petro’s standing are allegations of corruption implicating his family members, including his son Nicolás and brother Juan Fernando. Both are accused of illicit campaign contributions. Their legal processes are still unfulding, but they have already cast a shadow over Petro’s reputation.

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The administration’s flagship “Total Peace” initiative, aimed at engaging over 40 armed groups, has faced setbacks. Only a ceasefire with the ELN, the last active historical guerrilla group, has been achieved. However, violence persists in various regions, undermining efforts for sustainable peace.

These challenges collapsed Petro’s approval ratings to 26% last December, according to Invamer polling data. Conversely, his disapproval rating surged to 66% that same month.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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