NewsLatin AmericaUribe comes out in defense of Petro: "In my presence, no insult to the President of the Republic"

Uribe comes out in defense of Petro: “In my presence, no insult to the President of the Republic”

They were bitter enemies in the past, but in the past half year they have not stopped sending each other signs of reconciliation. This Saturday there has been a new episode. Alvaro Uribe interrupted a man who accused Gustavo Petro of being a guerrilla in an act of his party. “In my presence, no insult to the President of the Republic. Anything you want to say about opposition with arguments, but no insults,” Uribe said, at a time that was recorded on video and was shared by himself on social networks.

The president of Colombia between 2002 and 2010 has reasoned his position: “We have a duty to this country and I, at 70, want to fulfill it.” The gentleman who has been warned has answered with a laconic “ok”. Petro and Uribe have met three times since the former won the elections, the last time on February 3. On that occasion they talked about the reforms being carried out by the Government of Petro, health, pensions and labor. Uribe, after those meetings, assured that he would make a reasonable opposition, and for now he has complied.

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When he narrowly won Rodolfo Hernandez, Petro said he wanted to form a consensus government that would apply the necessary reforms to the country and work for peace, after four years in which a Uribe dolphin, Ivan Duque, paralyzed the work that his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, had done, who demobilized the FARC with a historic agreement and laid the foundations for negotiating with the ELN. The current president has bet everything on negotiating with the ELN and broadening the focus to seek what he calls total peace, that is, that the largest number of armed groups in the country commit to laying down their weapons. In the negotiating team with the guerrillas is Jose Felix Lafaurie, very close to Uribe. When he was named it was interpreted as yet another gesture by Petro towards his greatest historical contender.

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Petro was aware that he needed Uribe on his side if he wanted to carry out such a profound transformation of the country. A few days after her electoral victory, she sat down with him and they both agreed not to publicly confront each other with insults or torpedo government projects. At that meeting, they also spoke about Ivan Cepeda, a senator and Petro’s right-hand man, who has waged a long legal battle that has Uribe charged in a case of buying witnesses. The matter is in the hands of justice, but it escapes no one that some leniency from the presidency could benefit Uribe.

Petro, as a senator, was one of the great scourges of the former president. The former M-19 guerrilla, a very popular urban group in the eighties, accused the then president of having dealings with paramilitaries. Petro had to go into exile in Belgium after receiving threats. Uribe has branded both Petro and Cepeda, at the very least, friends of the guerrillas, but all that seems to have been left behind. Today it has become clear that, in his presence, no one can insult Petro.

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The president entered the guerilla movement as a teenager, but was never a true man of arms. He participated more as an activist and supported the peace process of that armed group that demobilized in 1990, giving way to the drafting of a new Constitution, the most progressive in the history of Colombia.


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