President Gustavo Petro’s plan for ‘total peace’ in Colombia: Takeaways from AP’s report

BUENAVENTURA, Colombia (AP) — Across Colombia, decades of war between leftist guerrillas, rightwing paramilitaries, trafficking groups and the government have left more than 9.5 million people as victims of forced displacement, homicide, sexual violence and more. That’s nearly 20% of the population. Colombia’s rebel-turned-president Gustavo Petro has promised to cement “total peace.” Petro aims to rewire how the South American nation addresses endemic violence, replacing military operations with social programs tackling the conflict’s roots. The Colombian government has long worked to get criminal groups to set down arms, but the country’s conflict is now so complex, it will be an uphill battle. Petro’s plan is inching ahead. Critics say it’s not doing enough and gangs are taking advantage of cease-fires.