Latin America's new "pink tide" is gaining pace after Colombia elected Gustavo Petro, its first leftist leader, with Brazil expected to follow suit in elections in October — an echo of a regional political shift in the early 2000s.

Around the region, angry voters, pinched by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rampant inflation fanned by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have ditched mainstream parties and been lured by promises of bigger government and social spending.

"A leftist government in Colombia represents hope," said Gloria Sanchez, a 50-year old primary school teacher in the capital Bogota and a Petro supporter.