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THE TRIUMPH of the far-left candidate in the Colombian elections, the former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, is already impacting the markets. The price of the dollar rose drastically and cash ran out in many the country’s exchange houses.
El American visited six exchange houses in Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city, and was able to confirm that the currency had been depleted and its value had increased considerably.
On the mornings of June 18th and 19th (the day of the second round of the presidential elections), the price of the dollar was around 3,900 Colombian pesos.
The price per dollar on the morning of the 20th June was 4,300 Colombian pesos. However, no currency was available.
“It is the first time in 18 years working at an exchange house that something like this happens,” the owner of a currency exchange office in El Poblado, Medellín, told El American.
“This is the first time we have seen such a large and overnight rise in the dollar,” she added. “And the first time we don’t know if tomorrow we are going to have foreign currency.”
In another exchange house, suppliers informed the owner that they were not sure if they would have dollars available for the next few days and that the price would probably increase a lot when there is availability.
Faced with the triumph of Gustavo Petro and the imminent devaluation of the peso, Colombians immediately refuge in the dollar.
“I came to buy dollars and I couldn’t,” Diana, 32, told El American. “From now on I will have my savings in dollars.”
“Look what happened to the Venezuelans,” she continued. “The currency is worth nothing to them. It’s time to buy dollars.”
In an interview with El American, the renowned economist Alberto Bernal already predicted the increase in the price of the dollar as a result of the victory of Gustavo Petro.
“The markets are going to react terrified,” Bernal said before the election. “The only way for Petro to calm them down is by appointing a logical person as finance minister.”
Orlando Avendaño is the co-editor-in-chief of El American. He is a Venezuelan journalist and has studies in the History of Venezuela. He is the author of the book Days of submission // Orlando Avendaño es el co-editor en Jefe de El American. Es periodista venezolano y cuenta con estudios en Historia de Venezuela. Es autor del libro Días de sumisión.