Petro at the UN: 3 phrases from the president’s defiant speech (and why it goes against Colombia’s diplomatic tradition)

  • Daniel Brown
  • BBC Mundo correspondent in Colombia

Gustavo Petro at the UN

image source, Reuters

Gustavo Petro gave this Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly perhaps the most vehement speech that a Colombian president has offered in that prominent space of international deliberation.

The economist, former guerrilla fighter and former mayor of Bogotá, who took office less than two months ago, accused developed countries of the destruction of the Amazon, questioned the exploitation of natural resources and proposed an end to the war on drugs.

Some critics and members of the opposition, however, questioned the speech for its “divisive” character and for the absence of concrete plans on how the president hopes to change these problems with a joint action of countries. Many fear that the vehemence of the gesture could isolate the country in the international community.

Minutes after the intervention, however, Petro met with John Kerry, United States High Commissioner for Climate, to discuss issues of peace and climate change.

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