The crucial, second round of Colombia’s presidential election takes place on Sunday between a former guerrilla member and the 77-year-old TikTok star.
Controversial former guerrilla member Gustavo Pietro (62) was the one who escaped with the most votes The first round of elections in May.
Pietro is also a senator and former mayor of the capital, Bogota. In the last presidential election, he lost to incumbent right-wing president Ivan Duque.
This year, for the first time, the left has a real chance of winning the presidential election.
Petro’s opponent this year is 77-year-old millionaire and right-wing populist Rodolfo Hernandez, better known as “Trump of Colombia.”
Hernandez had an amazing and huge success on TikTok during the election campaign:
He finished second in the first roundHe received support from right-wing candidate Federico “Fico” Gutierrez who is asking his supporters to vote for the 77-year-old. Other established parties also recommended that the population vote for Hernandez.
In the first round, Pietro received 40 percent of the vote, while Hernandez received 28 percent.
Prior to the second round, the two were very similar in the polls, and in the latest poll average, Petro leads by less than one percentage point.
Among other things, Hernandez is running an election against corruption, but has faced criticism for saying he is considering declaring a 90-day state of emergency in the country in order to do so, which many call an authoritarian move. He is also accused of corruption When the mayor of Bucaramanga sat down.
Petro, for his part, managed to gather the entire left in his own historical charter-a movement. Among other things, the movement wants to fully implement the peace agreement with the FARC from 2016, implement agricultural and education reforms, and introduce policies to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
wave of violence
But Sunday’s presidential election is about more From choosing between two candidates from their political side, both turned on the country’s political elite.
It’s also about fate Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
So far this year, 88 social leaders and human rights defenders have died in the country, according to the independent monitoring group. indipase.
At the end of May, VG spoke with farm leader Carlos Morales, who himself was the subject of an assassination attempt. He then said that the violence now taking place in the country is a clear sign of how dangerous the situation has been since the peace agreement in 2016.
It is as if the country has gone backwards ten years. Once again we are witnessing bombings, armed clashes and semi-armed strikes. Morales said at the time that there was also an increase in massacres and attacks on the civilian population.
Several parts of the agreement have not been implemented and Colombia today More violent and turbulent from a long time.
Last year, there were mass demonstrations against the incumbent president who responded Violence spreads to quell protests.
The struggle for a peace treaty
Jimena Sanchez, who is a director in the Andean region, tells her research center Think Tank Washington Office for Latin Americathat both candidates went to the polls to advance the peace agreement.
She adds that Petro has provided a detailed plan for how to do this, including ensuring the protection of social leaders – who have particularly been subjected to threats and killings – and institutional reforms and reopening dialogue with the Liberation War group with Duque discontinued. .
According to the director of the Andean region, Hernandez, who comes from a family that witnessed kidnappings and killings at the hands of armed groups, including guerrilla groups, said he would also offer to include the ELN in the 2016 peace agreement.
This is a historic choice in the midst of a period of great tension and polarization. This is the second election after the peace process that President (current) Duque went to the polls against, and she says and continues:
The outcome will determine whether Colombia will actually move forward with the peace agreement.
Her colleague Adam Isaacson, Director of Defense Monitoring Latin America, It is believed that the fate of the peace agreement is in the hands of the next president of the country.
– The next president will either kill or save the peace agreement. Saving it means, above all, protecting former FARC members – more than 300 people have been killed so far, and this must stop, says Isaacson and continues:
– This is a historic opportunity to do something in large areas of Colombia, where people can spend most of their lives without seeing the presence of government, paved roads, land ownership, virtually no police or judicial system, or a connection to the power grid.
Isaacson says armed groups and cocaine production are booming in these areas. He believes that the next president should start working to provide these communities with these basic services.
– This will cost money. Colombia is a middle income country and it has many rich people who could find this money if they had to. It’s just a matter of controlling your area.
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