June 2022

By Julieta Gomez

In a surprising turn of events, the first round of elections in Colombia has led to a second round between Gustavo Petro, a left-wing former guerrilla candidate, and Rodolfo Hernandez, a right-wing businessman who has been described as a Trump-like TikTok star.

Mr. Petro, who was removed from office when he was Mayor of Bogota for his poor management of the city’s waste system, is seeking higher office on an agenda of equality and redeeming lower social classes from the historic abuses of the traditional ruling parties. His last presidential campaign landed him in second place behind Ivan Duque, earning him a seat in the Senate that he will occupy until July 20th.

Mr. Hernandez, on his side, is running on an anti-corruption platform and has announced that he will be donating his salary and will not be making alliances with anyone investigated for corruption. However, Hernandez himself has been accused by the Attorney General’s Office for influence peddling when he was Mayor of Bucaramanga, the fifth largest city in Colombia.

The results suggest that people are tired of traditional parties and establishment politics and are turning to alternative movements seeking the change that so many have promised but none have delivered.

Polls have a different winner every day, indicating a technical tie between the two. However, whomever gets the highest number of votes will be elected. The wait will end on June 19th when the second round is due to take place.