Former M19 terrorist, ex-convict and former mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, has retaken the lead in a new presidential poll released last week. The poll has Petro well ahead of other candidates in the 2018 Colombian Presidential Election, with independent candidate Sergio Fajardo in second and Clara López in third. The poll was conducted by polling company Daxteco between August 31st and September 5th. It was paid for by W Radio and El Tiempo.
Gustavo Petro, who spent 18 months in prison following a 1985 conviction for the illegal possession of arms, was a declared member of the M-19 terrorist group. M-19 was responsible for extraordinary human rights’ violations in Colombia, including the siege of the country’s Palace of Justice at Bolivar Plaza in Bogota. He pursued politics following is release from prison, and recently served mayor of Bogotá, Colombia’s capital and largest city. His term was marked by controversies and corruption.
Petro is a divisive figure in Colombia, the poll showed, popular among the nation’s poor but widely disliked by the middle class and pro-business sector. In the poll, 13.4% of respondents indicated that they would never vote for Petro.