Colombia’s elected president, Gustavo Pedro, has appointed former peace negotiator Alvaro Leva Duran as the new foreign minister this Saturday, announcing the first member of his cabinet since winning last Sunday’s election.
Alvaro Leva Duron will be our Foreign Minister. This will be the room for peace. Colombia will give the world all its efforts to tackle the climate crisis and we look forward to all the world’s efforts to tackle our domestic violence, ”Pedro said in a statement on his Twitter account.
Leyva Durán, 79, is a conservative politician who has been involved in many peace processes in the country over the past 40 years. He was also Minister of Mines and Energy during the government of President Belisario Bettankur between 1984 and 1985.
The former minister backed Pedro’s presidential candidacy ahead of the first round on May 29, when he stuck with a campaign official with a group of conservative politicians from the meta (center) sector.
After last Sunday’s victory, Leyva Durán promised that Pedro would come to the presidency “to reconcile and unite the Colombian people,” and that this would mean a “massive national agreement”, for which he would call on all nationalist-elected forces.
“In Colombia, President Petro’s call for a comprehensive agreement, peace with the threatening enemy, peace with the slanderer, peace with the opposition,” Leva added in a video posted on his Twitter account on Friday.
The foreign minister, appointed by Petro, was a peace mediator with several guerrillas during the governments of Presidents Belisario Bottancur (1982-1986), Andres Pastrana (1998-2002) and Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018)..
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