The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines paradox as “one (such as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases”, which is exactly the situation that Colombia is currently going through.
The past 7 of august, Ivan Duque, the new president of Colombia, elected the past June, began his mandate with a speech that proclaimed political reconciliation between the right and the left wing, as his main goal. The youngest president in Colombian history won against Gustavo Petro, a extreme left candidate, thanks to his belonging in the political party of extreme right “Centro Democrático”, which was found by Alvaro Uribe Velez, a Colombian ex president who is no stranger to controversies.
In 2016, M. Uribe was the major adversary against the peace treaty in Colombia with the guerilla group “Las FARC” as it was agreed and was the head of the No campaign that won the peace plebiscite back in October 2016 with 50,23% of the votes with the catchphrase “Peace yes but not like this” (Paz sí pero no así), when Ivan Duque was a senator that no one knew about.
Despite the result, Juan Manuel Santos, the president at the time, signed the peace treaty and ignored the vote, decision he took after he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize and got together with the representatives of the No campaign, M. Uribe included, to change some of the parts of the treaty. In fact, Duque won with promises of radically changing the peace treaty and even with the idea of ending it.
Although M. Uribe is clearly not the new president, he is currently a senator on his second mandate and the head of the party’s President with a great influence over him, as is not a secret for anybody that Duque won just because of him. That’s why some has accused M. Uribe to be a puppeteer that wants to perpetuate itself in the power, even if the only way is throughout another person since he was forbidden to do a third presidential term in 2010 by a decision of the Colombian Constitutional Court after the green light by the congress.
Now, Ivan Duque, and Colombia, face the challenge of speaking about reconciliation after the peace treaty with “Las Farc” and probable futures ones with other insurgent groups like the ELN, when at the same time M. Uribe and his party proclaim every time they have the chance a clear anti-reconciliation speech. Which one of the two speeches will prevail? Will the 42 years old president stay independent? Only time will tell.