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Colombian President Gustavo Petro has called for a concert in the capital Bogotá to show support for Palestinians and to condemn Israel’s genocide against them as its brutal attacks in the Gaza Strip continue.

President Petro, who has accused Israel of crimes against humanity, called on his country to unite for a concert and to use art “to criticise the genocide against the Palestinian people”.

Petro made the suggestion on X in which he reposted a video of Puerto Rican rapper René Pérez, known as ‘Residente’, urging artists to condemn Israel’s assault on Palestinians.

“I would like Rene and everyone who wants to use art to criticize the genocide against the Palestinian people to join me in the Plaza de Bolívar or the Simón Bolívar park in Bogotá in a great concert against genocide and for life,” Petro said.

“Let a cry of humanity against infamy come out of Bogotá,” he wrote, before adding: “Stop the killing Senor Matanza!” referencing a nickname for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, roughly translating as ‘Mr Slaughterer’.

Petro, who leads the left-wing Humane Colombia party, became president in 2022 and has been outspoken in his support for Gaza since Israel’s indiscriminate war on the Palestinian territory began. In October he said his country would open an embassy in Ramallah, the West Bank seat of President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

Latin American nations, including Chile and Bolivia, have recognised Palestinian statehood and been vocal in their support for the Palestinian cause, especially since the current war on Gaza began

In October, Bolivia broke diplomatic ties with Israel over the war, which so far killed over 22,000 Palestinians and made entire areas of Gaza uninhabitable, while Colombia and Chile expelled Israeli ambassadors and recalled their envoys from Tel Aviv.

Israel and Colombia have had close trade relations, particularly in arms, with Israel supplying warplanes, surveillance equipment and assault rifles for decades.

However, the export deal was derailed by Colombia’s refusal to condemn Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, and it was frozen by Israel’s foreign ministry.

Petro has been unflinching in his criticism of Israel’s indiscriminate assault on Palestinians and has shared graphic images of dead civilians.

In a post on X in November he said that Israel was committing an act of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

“It’s called Genocide, they do it to remove the Palestinian people from Gaza and take it over,” he wrote.

Gustavo Petro has been outspoken in his support for Palestinians [Getty]

Source: The New Arab Staff

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