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Colombia elects former guerrilla Petro as first leftist president

Leftist Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, who has vowed profound social and economic change, won Colombia’s presidency on Sunday, the first progressive to do so in the country’s history. Petro beat construction magnate Rodolfo Hernandez with an unexpectedly wide margin of more than 700,000 votes in what analysts said was a demonstration of Colombians’ eagerness for efforts to combat deep inequality. Petro, a former mayor of capital Bogota and current senator, has pledged to fight inequality with free university education, pension reforms and high taxes on unproductive land.

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