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Colombia’s shift left pushes ‘pink tide’ in Latin America

Colombia’s shift left pushes ‘pink tide’ in Latin America

MEXICO CITY/BOGOTA/SAO PAULO –


Latin America’s new “pink tide” is gaining pace after Colombia elected its first leftist leader Gustavo Petro, with Brazil expected to follow suit in elections in October, an echo of a regional political shift in the early 2000s.


Around the region, angry voters, pinched by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rampant inflation fanned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have ditched mainstream parties and been lured by promises of bigger government and social spending.


“A leftist government in Colombia represents hope,” Gloria Sanchez, a 50-year old primary school teacher in the capital Bogota and a Petro supporter, told Reuters.


“This is the first time that there’s a government that sees the people, the poor, as human beings.”


Colombia’s shift means it joins Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru in a growing leftist bloc. In Brazil, the regional economic giant, former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leads opinion polls against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.


The redrawing of political fault lines, with conservative bastions like Chile and Colombia toppled, may have a big impact on everything from grains and metals to economic policy, as well as ties with key partners like the United States and China.

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“There is really an important and clear movement happening in Latin America, even though different governments show different nuances,” said Brazilian Senator Humberto Costa and member of the leftist Workers’ Party. Chile’s Gabriel Boric, a 36-year-old progressive, came into office in March. Pedro Castillo, a socialist former teacher, in Peru last year. Bolivia’s socialist party won election in 2020 after a short-lived conservative interim government.


Bolivia’s…

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