(CNN Spanish) — The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, spoke for the first time before a General Assembly of the United Nations.
Petro took office on August 7 as the country’s first leftist president.
The president of Colombia spoke in an impassioned speech criticizing the war on drugs and ways to eradicate illicit crops, while defending the environment.
These are the strongest phrases of Petro in his speech before the UN.
1. “Nothing more hypocritical than the speech to save the jungle”
Petro began his speech by stating that he came from “one of the three most beautiful countries on Earth”. He then pointed out that the jungles, where the world’s oxygen is produced, was also the ecosystem of coca, which he called the “sacred plant of the Incas.”
“As in a paradoxical crossroads. The forest that is trying to be saved is, at the same time, destroyed.”
2. “Which is more poisonous to humanity, cocaine, coal or oil?”
Along the same lines, Petro spoke of how the war against drugs had failed and how, by trying to destroy drugs and illicit crops, the world is destroying the jungle.
“The opinion of power has ordered that cocaine is poison and must be prosecuted, even if it only causes minimal deaths by overdose, and more because of the mixtures that its ruled clandestine causes, but, instead, coal and oil must be protected, so that their use can extinguish all of humanity. These are the things of world power, things of injustice, things of irrationality, because world power has become irrational,” he added.
3. “The war on drugs has failed. The fight against the climate crisis has failed”
The president of Colombia pointed out how fatal drug use has increased and how many people have ended up in jail. The president called for an end to the “irrational war on drugs.”
“Do you want fewer drugs? Think of less profit and more love. Think of a rational exercise of power,” he added.
4. “They invaded in the name of oil and gas”
Speaking about the wars, Petro talked about the invasion of Ukraine – and at the end of his speech he called on Ukraine and Russia to make peace – but he also talked about the wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria.
“The war served as an excuse for us not to take the necessary measures. When actions were most needed, when speeches were no longer useful, when it was essential to deposit money in the funds to save humanity, when we had to get away from coal as soon as possible and from oil they invented a war and another and another. They invaded Ukraine, but also Iraq, and Libya and Syria. They invaded in the name of oil and gas,” he added.
“They discovered in the 21st century the worst of their addictions: addiction to money and oil.”
5. “Do not pressure us to align ourselves in the fields of war”
At the end of his speech he called for world peace.
“War is just a trap that brings the end of time closer to the great orgy of irrationality,” he said, affirming that there will be no peace if there is no “social, economic and environmental justice.”