Gustavo Petro, from the Historical Pact, and Rodolfo Hernández, arrive at the elections in an almost equal situation
The appointment with the polls has place in the midst of ghosts of irregularities in the scrutiny and armed violence
Colombiaelects its new president this Sunday amid upheavals. On one side, the very close fight between Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández for the vote of 39 million citizens. The polls have predicted a tense scrutiny and a winner of the contest by a slim margin. The other singularity of this contest is that both Petro, of the leftist Historic Pact, like his opponent, do not come from the traditional parties. As never before, the historical elite is just a spectator of a denouement that shows to what extent. point is changing Colombia since the end of the armed conflict, in 2016, and the social unrest against the right-wing government of Iván Duque, in 2019 and 2021.
Petro was Guerrilla, but, for decades, he has been a man of the political system. The tycoon Hernández, on the other hand, further After a brief stint as mayor of Bucaramanga, he comes from the world of constructionwhich has allowed him to amass a fortune of 100 million dollars. The “old man from Tiktok”, who accumulated his electoral power from social media is, in a sense, the anti-system candidate par excellence. Some analysts consider that he is more like the Salvadoran Nayib Bukele than Donald Trump . Hernández has received the support of the Conservative and Liberal parties. Uribismo withstood The spite of being despised by the engineer has also called for a vote for him: it would be worse if the moderate left won, slightly associated with Cold War communism. A sector of liberalism has rebelled against their leadership and will opt for by the Historical Pact. Part of the political center seems to lean, somewhat unwillingly, in the same direction. beyond of these alignments, will be the undecidedAlmost two million, those who have the name of the winner in their hands.
Not only the ghost of fraud, fueled by Petro and permanently denied by Duque, hovers over that country; s for days. The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) itself has admitted that it is the “most violent electoral period of the last 12 years“. Only so far in 2022, 86 social leaders and 21 former members of the FARC have been assassinated, a group that left guns in 2016. The violence is raging. in the air. The Ombudsman's Office has confirmed that this Sunday there is a “high and extreme risk” of armed actions in 290 municipalities with the presence of FARC or ELN dissidents, far-right paramilitary groups or drug traffickers.
The weight of inequality
The dispute between Petro and Hernández is raging. Far from being the product of chance. Although the Colombian economy has recovered from the effects of covid-19, with growth of 10.6% in 2021 and prospects of 6% this year, 40% of the population is is in poverty. Colombia is the third country in Latin America with the most unequal income distributions, behind Brazil and Guatemala. The OECD estimates on average that it takes four generations for a person born in the social group that receives the lowest income to become part of the middle class. However, Colombia breaks that rule: 11 generations are needed to move from one social universe to another. That is one of the reasons that explains the successive outbursts and the opening of a part of society to other electoral alternatives.
The second round was preceded by an avalanche of fake news but also truthful information that only the counting of votes will allow. to infer have influenced the predilections of citizens. The magazine Cambio published A few hours before the elections, the video of an “exotic celebration” was released on a yacht sailing off the coast of Miami. there he is Hernández, the new champion of the fight against the corrupt, along with “alleged international lobbyists” and “joyful young ladies.”