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Over two thirds of young Colombians say their lives have got worse over the past year, which saw a fierce crackdown on anti-government protests in a country still recovering from five decades of conflict. Six years after the peace deal with the FARC rebels, many young people are backing the former mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro, in the May 29 presidential election. If he wins, Petro would become Colombia’s first-ever leftist leader. In this special edition of Inside the Americas, we meet several young Colombians who are hoping for change.
They include Alexa Rochi, a former FARC fighter who’s now a freelance photographer. She reflects on her time in the guerrilla, on the 2016 peace deal and on the dangers of opposing the system in Colombia today.
Jennifer Pedraza, a leader of the 2021 student protests, is now Colombia’s youngest-ever MP. She says she hopes for a president who will fight for social justice, for more work and for equality.
Gonzalo and Walter Queragama are two indigenous brothers who express the pain of being displaced by violence through rap. The question of the representation of minorities is crucial in the upcoming election.
One common theme emerges: this new generation of Colombians is determined to fight for a peaceful and more equal society.
Programme prepared by Camille Février and Claire Hopes, filmed par Georges Yazbeck.
Laura Chara, Pascale Mariani and Juan Orozco contributed reporting in Colombia.