Colombia: ex-terrorist Petro inaugurated president amidst terrorist paraphernalia

The inauguration was marked by the presence of M-19 sympathizers.

Gustavo Petro was sworn in as president of Colombia on Sunday. The former M-19 terrorist is the first leftist governor to reach the Casa de Nariño. The ceremony was held in Bogotá's Plaza Bolívar, and the governor was invested by Senator María José Pizarro, daughter of Carlos Pizarro, who was a member of the guerrilla group to which Petro belonged and was assassinated in 1990 when he was a presidential candidate.

The inauguration was marked by the presence of the flags of the terrorist group M-19. Within minutes of being sworn in as president, Petro's first order was for the Colombian Military House to move the sword of Simon Bolivar to the ceremony site. Outgoing President Iván Duque did not approve the transfer, so it was only possible to carry out this action after Petro was inaugurated. The sword was stolen in 1974 by the M-19 and ended up in the hands of the family of drug trafficker Pablo Escobar. The sword was finally returned by the terrorist group in 1991 during the government of César Gaviria.

Socialist Speech

Petro lamented that "10% of the Colombian population has 70% of the wealth", and referred to this as a "nonsense and amorality". "Let us not naturalize inequality and poverty. Let us not look the other way, let us not be accomplices", he added. "With will, redistribution policies and a program of justice, we will make Colombia more egalitarian and with more opportunities for all".

Petro invested María Márquez, the first African-American to hold the position, as vice president.

Among the foreign personalities who attended the ceremony were the King of Spain, Felipe VI; the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric; the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández; and the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce. The United States sent a delegation headed by Samantha Power, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela did not attend because they were not invited by the outgoing president, who is in charge of such management.

"If President Gustavo Petro has to receive something, it is the certainty that Colombia represents democracy, confidence in democracy (...) We did not invite them and they will not come, they cannot come," said the outgoing vice president and foreign minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, to the local press.