Current Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro speaks with journalists in 2010. In recent years, political fragmentation has opened a new path for left-leaning politicians such as Petro.
Colombians largely backed the center-right when they cast ballots in the country's presidential primary and legislative elections on March 11, but the rapidly approaching presidential elections in May and June promise to be an entirely different ball game. Colombia's heavily fragmented political scene leaves the door open for an outsider to claim the country's highest office. Recent polling suggests the far-left Gustavo Petro, the pro-environment center-left Sergio Fajardo and the conservative Ivan Duque all stand a good chance of reaching a runoff vote on June 17. And though the country may be too politically divided for any president to corral congressional votes in support of controversial initiatives, a leftist president would have much greater leeway on foreign policy than domestic legislation, meaning a frontrunner like Petro could blunt Colombia's support for heavier U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and threaten new investments in energy and mining....
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