The World Today for June 15, 2023


Intrigue in the Palace


Leftist leaders from around the globe recently issued an open letter to the Colombian public, saying that the opponents of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who assumed office a year ago, were planning a “soft coup” to oust him from his job.

“Ever since the election of the country’s first progressive government, Colombia’s traditional powers have been organizing to restore an order marked by extreme inequality, environmental destruction, and state-sponsored violence,” wrote former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, former Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and others in the letter.

As the Intercept noted, the letter was a rallying cry for Colombian leftists who might be losing faith in Petro as he struggles to remain relevant due to a string of scandals. “Instead of leading a peaceful revolution to lift millions out of poverty, Petro now risks spending the next three years as an unpopular lame duck, wasting much of his energy defending himself in investigations,” wrote Bloomberg.

Petro’s chief of staff along with the Colombian ambassador to Venezuela, for instance, not only allegedly falsified documents but also threatened and illegally interrogated a nanny they both employed at different times, explained Agence France-Presse. The scandal led to accusations that Petro’s allies might have received $3.5 million in campaign funds illegally. His chief of staff and the ambassador have since resigned.

Petro’s defenders said these bizarre scandals showed how powerful actors were conspiring to undermine Petro’s image. They were examples of the “soft coup” that the leftist leaders mentioned in their letter, the Venezuelan state-owned leftist publication Telesur declared.

In the meantime, Petro, who was elected on pledges to make sweeping reforms in Colombia, is fighting to advance his agenda. As the Associated Press wrote, the president is now negotiating and horse-trading with other politicians in Congress over his ambitious restructuring of the healthcare system, which would cut out private insurance and divert all health funds through government agencies. Activists had planned to march in the streets to support Petro’s agenda, Crisis24 said.

As the intrigue in the capital of Bogota continues, armed groups persist in committing violence and terrorizing Colombians in rural areas – despite the 2016 peace accord between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a leftist rebel group. A new UNICEF study shed light on how such groups recruit children, for example, highlighting their heartlessness and the fervor of their cause, wrote InSight Crime.

Petro needs to show that his leadership offers alternatives that are better than the worst that could happen.

To read the full edition and support independent journalism, join our community of informed readers and subscribe today!

Not already a subscriber?

If you would like to receive DailyChatter directly to your inbox each morning, subscribe below with a free two-week trial.

Subscribe today

Support journalism that’s independent, non-partisan, and fair.

If you are a student or faculty with a valid school email, you can sign up for a FREE student subscription or faculty subscription.

Questions? Write to us at

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.