Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Colombia and Iván Duque: An Overview

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This article is adapted from AQ’s special report on the Summit of the Americas. Click here for the full list of countries.


President: Iván Duque

Term: 2018-2022

Backed by former President Álvaro Uribe, Duque entered office in 2018 with plans to modernize the economy. In 2021, a proposed tax reform sparked nationwide anti-government protests that were met with excessive force by the police. Duque’s approval ratings have continued to fall amid dissatisfaction with high unemployment, inequality and crime. In a step that won him international plaudits, Duque granted temporary protective legal status to 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia for a decade. Duque leaves office in August, and reelection is no longer allowed in Colombia. The first round of the presidential elections is on May 29, and a June 19 runoff is likely. Colombians are generally upset with the traditional political class, and this climate may favor outsiders and the leftist candidate Gustavo Petro, who has consistently led opinion polls.

To facilitate comparisons among these 10 countries,
the data is color-coded:   
High performing   
Middle performing   
Low performing


President’s approval rating* 30%
Capacity to Combat Corruption Index ranking (out of 15 Latin American countries) 8
Share of adults who support democracy* 53%
Military expenditure as % GDP 3.4%


Projected GDP growth 2022 4.4%
Projected inflation 2022 5.9%
Total trade as % of GDP 34%
Unemployment 11.7%
Share of labor force in informal economy 62.4%
Share of population living in extreme poverty 19.2%


Population (millions) 51.3
Homicide rate (per 100,000 people) 26.8
Annual carbon dioxide emissions (millions of tons) 89.1
Share of public social spending on education 23.5%
Global press freedom ranking (out of 180 countries) 134

Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Guatemala | Mexico | Peru | Venezuela

*NOTES: Approval rating updated May 6. Support for democracy reflects percentage who agree that democracy is preferable to any other form of government.

Sources: Approval rating: Invamer (April); support for democracy: Latin American Public Opinion Project (2021); Capacity to Combat Corruption Index (2022); military expenditure: Stockholm International Peace Institute (2021); GDP, inflation, unemployment: Bloomberg (March); total trade: World Bank (2020); informal labor force: Inter-American Development Bank (2020); poverty, population, education spending: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (2020); Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index (2021); homicide rate: InSight Crime (2021); CO2 emissions: Global Carbon Project (2020)


Reading Time: < 1 minuteSweigart is an editor at Americas Quarterly and a policy manager at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Follow Emilie Sweigart:   LinkedIn   |    X/Twitter

Tags: Colombia, Ivan Duque
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