Colombia’s new president Petro proposes ambitious tax reforms

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The reforms are key to Gustavo Petro’s vision of building a more equitable country, with less reliance on oil revenues.

On his first day in office, Colombian President Gustavo Petro introduced a new tax reform proposal to Congress that is expected to finance the ambitious programs and policies he hopes will transform the country.

The move on Monday by the country’s first leftist leader, was the first step to fulfilling his promise to millions of Colombians, like Maydany Salcedo, a 47-year-old social leader from the Putumayo province, who watched the inauguration Sunday with high expectations for Colombia’s new left-wing president.

Like many in Petro’s base, Salcedo has a lot riding on Petro’s success. Her home in Putumayo, in southwest Colombia on the border with Ecuador and Peru, is riddled with armed groups that threatened her in July after she joined Petro’s transition team.

Salcedo, who advises the administration on drug policy, believes Petro can bring the much-awaited peace, expected from a 2016 treaty between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government.

“We’re incredibly happy,” said Salcedo, dressed in a white lace blouse and golden cross, hours before Petro’s inauguration on Sunday, which she attended as a special guest. “But the expectations of poor farmers are high for what Petro can do and we hope that his discourse won’t be limited to paper.”

 

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