Colombia has chosen Iván Duque, a conservative neophyte, to be its next president after a long and divisive campaign that often centred on a controversial peace process with leftist rebels the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Duque, who opposes the peace deal, won in a second round runoff election on Sunday with 53.9% of the vote. His vanquished opponent, Bogotá’s former mayor Gustavo Petro – once a leftist militant himself – defends the peace process. Despite being the first leftist in the conservative country’s history to come so close to the presidency, he lost on the night, taking 41.8% of the vote.
Many now worry about the fate of the fragile peace deal signed with the Farc in 2016, which formally ended 52 years of civil war that left 220,000 dead and seven million displaced.
That deal initially failed to pass a referendum with voters outraged by its guarantees of softer sentencing for rebel leaders and guaranteed seats in congress. It was later amended and ratified by lawmakers, a move some viewed as undemocratic. Sunday gave them another chance to voice their disquiet.