Colombia’s President-elect Ivan Duque has been sworn in as the country’s 60th president, amid concern over the influence, he will have on the country’s peace process. More than 12,000 police were deployed in the historic centre of the capital Bogota for Duque’s inauguration on 07 August 2018.
The heads of state of Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic are expected to attend the ceremony at Bolivar Square, where Congress will gather for an open-air session.
Duque, a 42-year-old former senator, defeated a left-leaning candidate, Gustavo Petro, in a presidential runoff in June with 54 per cent of the vote. As the youngest president in Colombia’s recent history, Duque is expected to appoint a cabinet consisting largely of little-known technocrats, with the same number of women and men. Duque is seen as having a positive relationship with the United States.
The peace deal with FARC led to the demobilisation of about 7,000 of its fighters following a conflict of more than half a century involving leftist rebel groups, the army and right-wing paramilitary groups. Internal conflict in Colombia has left more than 260,000 people dead since 1958, according to the government’s National Centre for Historic Memory.