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Colombian Voters Seem Headed Toward a Radical Shift on Sunday

  • Presidential election includes two anti-establishment figures
  • Petro, a leftist and former guerrilla, leads the polls
Gustavo Petro, left, and Federico Gutierrez, during a presidential debate in Bogota on May 23.
Gustavo Petro, left, and Federico Gutierrez, during a presidential debate in Bogota on May 23.Photographer: Nathalia Angarita/Bloomberg

Colombians head to the polls on Sunday amid strong indications that the anti-establishment mood sweeping Latin America could lead them to abandon the pro-business Washington-centered model they’ve embraced for decades. 

Presidential frontrunner Gustavo Petro, 62, a one-time guerrilla and later Bogota mayor, has tapped especially younger voters’ yearning for radical change, pledging to tax wealthy landowners, go green by phasing out oil and coal and restore ties with the socialist government next door in Venezuela.