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Colombia’s New President: Country Can Use Natural Resources to Produce Bitcoin, Not Cocaine

On Sunday, Colombia elected Gustavo Petro as the new president. He will be the first leftist president in the country’s history. Apart from attention to climate change, social inequality, and peace in the country, Petro also expressed approval for Bitcoin adoption.

Petro will replace conservatist president Iván Duque Márquez on August 7. Petro’s vice-president will be human and environmental rights activist Francia Márquez – the first black woman to take the position.

Shift to Renewable Energy

Petro advocates the transition from oil to renewable energy. According to the government statistics, oil and mining combined provide more than 50% of Colombia’s monthly exports and up to 8% of gross domestic product.

In his government program, Petro highlights an energy transition to face the climate change emergency, including the proposal to stop oil exploration.

“We will move Colombia from a primary energy matrix economically dependent on coal and oil to a diversified one, based on our renewable energy potential. These are the best energy sources to face climate change and strengthen the country’s capacities for a productive economy,” is claimed in the program.

Following his green agenda, Petro insists on stopping exploration for hydrocarbons and constructing new large-scale open-pit mines. He also plans to end investigative fracking pilots and offshore oil and gas projects, despite already signed contracts with the companies.

President-elect compared fossil fuel to cocaine: “Our three main exports are poisons,” told Petro during a rally in May. The Colombian Mining Association (ACM) condemned these words as “irresponsible and above all disrespectful.” However, the Colombians voted for a different political trajectory, as Petro got over 50% of the votes and won against pro-business right-wing candidate Rodolfo Hernandez.

Clean Energy to Mine Bitcoin

Adopting crypto could help countries in the Latin region deal with high national currencies’ high inflation. In support of crypto, Petro stated that Bitcoin removes issuing power from the states and the banks.

“It is a community currency that is based on the trust of those who carry out transactions with it. Since it is based on a blockchain, trust is measured and grows, hence its strength,” tweeted he.

Petro applauded El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele’s idea of building volcano-powered crypto mining facilities. He tweeted that Colombia could also take advantage of Bukele’s idea – use the clean hydropower on Colombia’s Pacific coast to mine cryptocurrencies and potentially replace with it the cocaine industry.

¿Y que tal que el litoral pacífico aprovechara las caídas de alta pendiente de los rios de la cordillera occidental para producir toda la energía del litoral y reemplazar cocaína con la energía para las criptomonedas?

La moneda virtual es pura información y por tanto energía. https://t.co/65xdN2whuO

— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) October 2, 2021

According to a UN report, the Pacific coast is one of the hottest regions for the drug trade, where the growing of coca significantly increased in 2020.

Seven months ago, Petro also claimed that Colombia could use wind turbines and water powerplants to mine cryptocurrencies in the Guajira region on the Caribean coast. The area is known for local Wayú  indigenous communities fighting harshly with their region’s highly polluting mining industry.

“We can make the Wayú communities, the coal workers of the Cesar region, the black communities of the Colombian Pacific coast, owners of these new forms of energy linked to cryptocurrency computing, and thus we will have a different world,” said Petro in the interview.

Guajira is home to 98% of the country’s wind farms. According to Colombian media, 65 new farms are planned to start operations by 2031. With more than 2,000 wind turbines, it will produce 6,000 MW for the national grid.

Petro and his green energy plans seem to have won the voters in La Guajira: “More than 160 thousand votes in La Guajira. We won. We will finally will liberate the Rancheria River, the sun and the wind will be our new wealth, a quiet but firm energetic transformation is coming. No more children will die of hunger. Thank you my Guajira,” tweeted social leader of Wayú community and elected member of senate.

Más de 160 mil votos en La Guajira. Ganamos.

Por fin vamos a liberar el Río Ranchería, el sol y el viento serán nuestra nueva riqueza, viene una transformación energética tranquila pero firme. Ningún niño más morirá de hambre.

Gracias mi Guajira. pic.twitter.com/rb4QKIKfzp

— Martha Peralta Epieyú (@marthaperaltae) June 20, 2022