Skip to content

Maduro’s Enemies Are Fleeing Colombia as Persecution Fears Mount

  • Opposition figures fear they will be unsafe from spying
  • Petro plans to reestablish diplomatic ties with Nicolas Maduro
A street mural supporting President-elect Petro in Bogota.
A street mural supporting President-elect Petro in Bogota.Photographer: Nathalia Angarita/Bloomberg

Dozens of Venezuelan opposition figures, who turned Colombia into their unofficial headquarters in recent years, say the election of Gustavo Petro as Colombia’s first leftist president puts them at risk, and they plan to leave. 

Activists, party leaders, former officers and military deserters are making the move, according to seven people with knowledge of the plans. They’re afraid they’ll be harassed, spied on or even kidnapped. Petro takes office in a month, replacing conservative Ivan Duque, an outspoken opponent of Nicolas Maduro.