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Opinion President Petro: ‘Colombia should undergo a radical transformation’
Many Colombians held their breath when the leftist Gustavo Petro took office as president in August 2022. Formerly a member of the terrorist group M-19, he declared his aim to bring about a “ total peace ” to the violence-plagued country. He pledged to transition Colombia to a green economy and committed to phasing out oil and gas exploration. He also suggested decriminalizing parts of the cocaine industry. Petro spoke with The Post’s Lally Weymouth on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York last week. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Excerpts:
Lally Weymouth: What do you hope to achieve during your term?
Gustavo Petro: Peace for Colombia, which means more social justice.
You mean your plan for “total peace”?
Yes. Colombia has had three generations that have been mired in violence for about 75 years.
Would you include all the guerrilla groups in the “total peace,” even the ones that have not been included in the past?
Yes. That is where I fit in because at a very young age in 1978, I joined the April 19th Movement, M-19.
M-19 was a terrorist movement.
Simón Bolívar was called a terrorist.
If it wasn’t a terrorist movement, what was it exactly?
A revolutionary insurgent movement. At that time, we were experiencing a permanent state of siege. [Democratically elected Chilean President Salvador] Allende had been overthrown with assistance from the U.S. government. That resolved a debate on the Latin American left.
In what sense?
On the one hand, you had the Cuban Revolution and Che Guevara, who espoused that change would only come through armed revolution. The other thesis was that it was possible to carry out change through elections. The overthrow of Allende ended that debate. The majority conviction of almost all of the Latin American left was that there was no other option than to take up arms. …
With the defeat of the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] and their negotiation with President [Juan Manuel] Santos in 2016, a new phase of violence began. And this violence is linked exclusively to drugs.
The ELN [the National Liberation Army, another guerrilla group in Colombia] didn’t sign on to President Santos’s deal with the FARC.
That’s right, they didn’t. Right now they are negotiating with me.
But didn’t Colombia have an all-time record high production of the coca crop last year?
That’s if you measure the total hectares of coca leaf. But one mustn’t confuse the coca leaf with cocaine. The coca leaf is the peasant’s crop. The fight against drugs has been directed against the peasant farmers and not against the big drug traffickers who today are not even Colombian.
You’re saying that the U.S. is not fighting major drug traffickers?
The United States made a mistake by confusing the fight against drug trafficking with the counterinsurgency fight.
The FARC was certainly processing and selling cocaine, right?
The FARC was growing coca leaf, which is different. The peasantry, because of the absence of land reform in Colombia, went to the upland areas, while the fertile land belonged to large landowners who were not producing anything on that land. Many of them were friends of the drug traffickers. The peasants in the jungle regions barely survived.
There are drug cartels in Colombia.
Indeed, some U.S. lawmakers are talking about decertifying Colombia as a partner in the drug war for failing to cooperate with U.S. anti-narcotics efforts.
We now have to ask ourselves whether the drug war has been effective, and my answer is no, it hasn’t. The United States has switched its illicit drug consumption from marijuana and cocaine to fentanyl, which may cause the death of millions over the next 50 years. So the net result is a profound failure.
Crime has gone up in Colombia. It’s very bad at this point. What are you going to do about it?
Colombia has gradually and slowly been able to corner violence into certain areas so most of its population has been able to achieve peace.
You have made some remarks that have led people to question your dedication to a free press. Are you committed to a free press?
Colombian governments in the past have shut down several media outlets that were critical of them. I have not shut down any. I have corrected some of the questions that you have asked me. And mistakes are not simple mistakes but efforts to destroy a democratically elected government with slander.
When I correct journalists, they think that’s press censorship. [Under my presidency], no media outlet will be shut down and no journalist will be persecuted, as has happened in the immediate past.
You don’t seem to be very popular among Colombia’s business community.
When one seeks social justice, those who have a great many privileges don’t like social justice.
What would you like Colombia to be?
A profoundly democratic country at peace.
When people describe you as a hard leftist, do you think that is accurate?
When I gave a lecture at a U.S. university, they said that I was a centrist.
How do you see yourself?
I consider myself a radical democrat.
So you want to radically change Colombia?
Colombia should undergo a radical transformation.
What about your son, Nicolás Petro, who has been charged with illicit enrichment and money laundering? He is accused of taking money from convicted drug traffickers both for himself and for your campaign. You said you would not interfere in the investigation.
Yes, that’s right. The situation is being investigated.
Your brother, Juan Fernando Petro, also made headlines for allegedly making deals with ex-politicians jailed for murder and corruption to waive prison sentences in exchange for delivering votes from areas that usually vote for more conservative candidates.
No, that’s not true. Those are the kind of slanders [from the press] that I was mentioning earlier.
When your country gets one-third of its export revenue from selling exploratory permits for gas and oil, why would you stop selling these permits?
We want to end the Colombian economy’s dependence on fossil fuels and move as quickly as possible to a decarbonized economy. The world is going to see humanity die off if oil and coal continue to be explored.
So much of your money comes from oil and gas; isn’t that a dangerous decision?
Obviously what you say is correct, but it would be more dangerous to continue along the path of coal and oil.
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MSc theses online
MSc theses online is a collection of students' theses successfully defended at Wageningen University.
The database is updated daily. Most of the MSc theses are from 2010 onwards. Not all MSc theses are available in this database.
Use the searchbox below or go directly to MSc theses online .
In MSc theses online you'll find publicly available MSc students' theses defended at Wageningen University. Mostly from 2010 onwards.
Recent MSc theses
Evolutionary origins and diversification of cannabinoid oxidocyclases: characterization and mutant design of ancestral cannabinoid oxidocyclases from cannabis sativa l., "local experiences on the humanitarian-development nexus in the post-haiyan philippines", unearthing roots for flourishing futures: exploring the current initiatives and framed futures on the decolonisation of dutch botanical gardens.
Collecting online MSc theses started in 2010. Therefore, most of the MSc theses in this collection have a publication date of 2010 or later. In some cases, e.g. embargo, the full text of a MSc thesis found in this repository is not yet available. To find more Wageningen University MSc theses, including older hard copies, use the WUR Library Search and search by title and/or author. WUR chair groups have different policies regarding the publication of student theses. Therefore not all MSc theses are available.
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a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.
a subject for a composition or essay.
a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.
Music . the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. : Compare arsis (def. 1) .
a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.
(less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. : Compare arsis (def. 2) .
Philosophy . See under Hegelian dialectic .
Origin of thesis
Word story for thesis, other words for thesis, words that may be confused with thesis.
- 1. antithesis , synthesis , thesis
- 2. dissertation , thesis
Words Nearby thesis
- shit will hit the fan, the
- shoe is on the other foot, the
- short end of the stick, the
- The show must go on
- thesis play
- thesis statement
- Sketch Book, The
- Skin of Our Teeth, The
- sky's the limit, the
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use thesis in a sentence
“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.
It’s a hypothesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis , and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.
While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis .
They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.
Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.
In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis , “Circle of Stone.”
At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis : acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.
Her doctoral thesis , says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.
Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.
He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.
And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.
It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.
But the word thesis , when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.
This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.
Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.
British Dictionary definitions for thesis
/ ( ˈθiːsɪs ) /
a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma
a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument
a subject for a discussion or essay
an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument
music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting
(in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus : Compare arsis
philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cultural definitions for thesis
The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.