Petro Responds to Rumors of Infidelity and Homosexuality

 
1,687Views 0Comments Posted 04/07/2024

Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Wednesday rejected social media posts that claim, without confirmed information, that he is the man who appears in videos walking in Panama holding the hand of an unidentified person who is not his wife, Verónica Alcocer.  In addition, others insinuated that the companion was a transsexual woman.  Several of the posts were accompanied by offensive and denigrating comments against the president. 

 

The president described the messages as transphobic and defended his right to privacy.  Initially, some users on social media said that the trans woman who supposedly appears in the video is a well-known Colombian influencer.  But the person in question publicly denied, in several local media outlets, that it is her.  Since Monday, videos began circulating showing a couple walking closely together on what is believed to be a central street in Panama City.  Some users of the social network X, formerly Twitter, claimed, without confirmed information, that it was Petro. 

 

Petro, who had remained silent in the face of the rumors, posted a message on his official X account on Wednesday with his disclaimer, in which he does not deny that it is about him. "I have always considered that privacy is the 'last ratio' of freedom, the last trench of being free, and I will maintain this principle until I write about myself or die.  But these thousands of transphobic messages that have exploded in the hands of a right-wing society, ignorant and discriminatory, must be rejected by the presidency," he wrote. 

 

It is not yet known who took the images and CNN has not been able to confirm their authenticity or the date of recording.  Over the weekend, the president was in Panama, where he attended the inauguration of José Raúl Mulino.  "Every progressive knows that human beings are equal and that the fight for that equality implies physical and mental emancipation and therefore, no one who considers themselves human can generalize transphobia in weak minds or slavery and discrimination.  That action does not express animalism but brutality.  That is why they kill those who are different and by the millions.  That is why Nazis existed and exist," Petro said in his post on Wednesday.  "I am heterosexual, but you will never hear or read a transphobic word from me.  Because not only would I cease to be a man, but I would cease to be human," the president concluded in his message to the public. 

 

The communications office of the Casa de Nariño has not issued any official statement on the matter and has limited itself to responding to CNN's requests that only the president could comment on the matter, as he did on Wednesday.  The truth is that this situation has generated all kinds of debates on whether the president's private life should be the subject of public scrutiny or whether, on the contrary, it belongs to his most intimate sphere.  Some users responded to Petro's post and questioned why he did not deny that he is the one who appears in the video.  The presidential communications office maintains that there will be no additional statements from the president made. 

 

Petro plans to convene a National Constituent Assembly in Colombia if his social reforms do not go ahead.  President Petro has also suffered setbacks in the approval of several of the social reforms promoted during the campaign, including the health reform, due to a lack of majorities in the legislature.  In recent months, the government has proposed holding a National Constituent Assembly to find a way to move forward with its initiatives. Amidst all these difficulties, the first left-wing government in Colombia is seeking to resume its agenda, with several changes in ministries such as the Interior, Agriculture, Transport and Justice for the two years remaining in its mandate.