International Peoples Dispatch Voting

Gustavo Pedro Wins Historic Elections in Colombia

The victory of the Historic Pact is a marked shift in the Colombian political scene which has been dominated by conservatives for decades.

By Peoples Dispatch

Preliminary results from Colombia’s second round presidential race indicate the victory of the left-wing Historic Pact coalition led by Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez. The duo had received 40% of the votes cast in the first round, 10 points shy of a first round victory. The progressive duo was facing off against political outsider Rodolfo Hernández of the League of Anti-Corruption Governors movement who received just under 47% of the vote in the precount. 

The period leading up to these elections have been marked by irregularities, violence, and strong media campaigns demonizing the progressive candidates. Days before the polls, the prominent Colombian news magazine Semana, published a cover with Petro and Hernández’s faces and underneath wrote “ex-guerrillero or engineer”. 

On Election Day itself several irregularities were reported by electoral observers such as ballots having markings that would disqualify the vote, alleged bribing by the Hernández campaign, the barring of observers from polling stations, amongst other incidents.

Progressive movements in Colombia and globally have celebrated the victory of the Historic Pact as bringing a necessary end to decades of conservative politics which have dominated institutional politics for decades. Outgoing President Ivan Duque leaves office with a dismal 80% disapproval rating, largely attributed to his administration’s severe mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented currency devaluation and subsequent economic crisis. 

Duque’s tenure was also marked by constant mobilization by diverse sectors in Colombia. From students to taxi drivers, peasant and Indigenous movements, the people of Colombia maintained an almost constant presence on the streets throughout the four years to make their demands heard. The strongest expression of this popular mobilization was the national strike which rocked Colombia for over two months from late April to June 2021. 

In the historic national strike, hundreds of thousands of people took to the street in dozens of cities and towns across the country to reject Duque’s proposed tax reform bill as well as to demand an end to his policies of repression and disregard for the lives of his people. The brutal state repression faced by protesters which cost the lives of over 80 people, also saw 1,832 arbitrary detentions, 83 with ocular injuries, 28 victims of sexual violence, and a total of 3,486 victims of police violence. 

The duo will be sworn in on August 7, 2022. 

Peoples Dispatch

Peoples Dispatch, formerly The Dawn News, is an international media project with the mission of bringing to you voices from people’s movements and organizations across the globe. Since its establishment three years ago, it has sought to ensure that the coverage of news from around the world is not restricted to the rhetoric of politicians and the fortunes of big companies but encompasses the richness and diversity of mobilizations from around the world.

7 comments

  1. This could be a good result. It’s about time that the right was voted out of office in Columbia, but some elements of the left like the FARC have been brutal to the indigenous people there. Let’s see how these progressives treat the indigenous people before celebrating too much.

  2. What does “conservative politics” have to do with “brutal state repression, “victims of sexual vioence” and “police violence”?…There must be a better expression to describe these evil, repulsive acts.

  3. That was a pathetically poorly written article. Maybe tell us what the preliminary count was for the second round? Because, based on the results of the first round, Hernandez was ahead 47% to 40%. Maybe also explain how the voting shifted for the second round? Where did the extra votes come from to ensure victory?

    1. To forceOfHabit, I agree with you that I would have liked to know what the percentage of the precount was of the second voting round for Petro and Maquez, and that the article was not all that clear–However, the NYT (https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/19/world/colombia-election-results) said that Petro and Maquez received over 50% in the second round of voting to Hernandez’ 47%. So the “47%” that was mentioned in the article from Peoples Dispatch refers to the second round of voting….

  4. Why can the peoples of other countries such as Columbia have a two-month-long national strike, but the people of the United States can’t be bothered to strike for as much as two hours?

    1. @Susan Mercurio
      Maybe things aren’t bad enough here for average people yet. Or maybe they all just want to be rich and don’t want to upset the system that they fantasize will allow them to become so.

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