TIME

MENDING COLOMBIA

Iván Duque won his country’s presidency by running against the peace deal he now has to fix
President-elect Duque photographed in Bogotá on July 11

LONG BEFORE HE GOT THE CHANCE TO enter politics, Iván Duque was a local rock star. As a teenager in the 1990s, he sang in his high school band, Pig Nose. His one-time bandmates say that even then he was looking for something deeper than rock ’n’ roll. “I was always looking for energy in my music,” recalls Rafael Gavassa, an old friend of Duque’s. “But Iván was a little more about substance.” The grunge music of Pearl Jam and Nirvana informed Duque’s songwriting. “I was more transcendental with the lyrics,” Duque remembers.

It’s hard to imagine Duque as a long-haired grunge lover now. Sitting in his campaign headquarters in Bogotá, the 41-year-old sports the sober dress shirt and tie of the political class—a look no doubt honed by his years in Washington working for a Latin American development bank. The wardrobe will also work in his next job. On June 17 he became the youngest person to be elected President of Colombia.

This country of 49 million is something of a regional outlier in terms of its politics; its democratic institutions have withstood the rise of Latin American strongmen and populists who ran military dictatorships in the late 20th century in Argentina,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME3 min read
What Freedom Is Worth
IN DECEMBER 2014, DURING THE final days of the Umbrella Movement, prominent signs proclaiming We’ll be back sprang up along Harcourt Road, one of the three major thruways occupied by peaceful prodemocracy protesters for nearly three months. The prote
TIME2 min read
For the Record
‘The actions taken by the NYPD were wrong.’ JAMES P. O’NEILL, New York City police commissioner, on June 6, in the NYPD’s first apology for its June 28, 1969, raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Manhattan’s West Village; the patrons who fought b
TIME3 min read
Larry Diamond
The Stanford scholar known as Mr. Democracy on the shrinking free world, the U.S.’s irreplaceable role in it and his book Ill Winds