Claudia Lopez took the stand while his followers shouted “yes we could”. He approached the microphone and gave thanks. “Today was the day of the girls, today was the day of young people, today was the day of women, today was the day the families made to pulse, as yours, as mine”, he emphasized. Last Sunday night, this green policy 49-year-old became the first mayor of Bogotá, elected at the polls. Your result in the local elections points to a change of cycle in Colombia. And, like that emphasized his first words after a victory, symbolizes in some way the birth of a new country that looks after more than half a century of armed conflict. With new priorities, new emergency.
to Govern Bogotá —a city with over seven million inhabitants, whose metropolitan area has a Gross domestic Product superior to that of Uruguay— supposed to assume the second position in relevant policy after the presidency of the Republic. That is also why the triumph of the leader of the Alliance Green, which according to surveys was not as clear, is a milestone in Colombia. The daughter of a teacher, grew up in a large family, lived in Ciudad Bolívar, one of the areas hardest hit in the capital, and exposure as a student leader. Jumped to the first line almost 15 years ago, when his research uncovered the relationship between public representatives, drug trafficking and armed groups of the far right: the scandal of parapolitics.
former senator, a strong supporter of the peace agreements with the FARC, feminist, Lopez always fought against inequality and for the rights of LGBTI. The kiss in the midst of the celebrations came with his partner, senator Angélica Lozano, was the photo of the night. And, despite the noise of a minority of the radical right, especially on social networks, was as a gesture of normalcy in a country of traditions that are conservative and predominantly catholic.
“Bogotá not only voted for the city to change in the next four years, but for this generation to change our entire society,” concluded the mayor-elect. In that position only preceded another woman, Clara Lopez, who was sarpanch interim for a few months in 2011. “Overcome and desaprendamos sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, and xenophobia. There is no doubt, Bogota voted for change and the equality to be unstoppable.”
Lopez focused his work in the Senate in the regeneration of democracy and the fight against corruption. That was one of the focuses of the presidential campaign of 2018, in which the leader of the Greens presented in the candidacy centrist of Sergio Fajardo as a formula for vice-president. Months later, prompted a query of anti-corruption measures which got over 11 million votes, but did not reach the quorum. He promised to follow by the same way from the capital. “I have never compromised with the patronage, the machinery; I have faced with courage the drug trade, the violent; I have risky and would risk everything in my life to honor the life and the voice and the vote of the colombian free of the greed, corruption and violence, about minorities once-powerful, once-invincible today beat them”, he wanted to make it clear in your first intervention.
The victory of Lopez was the most high-profile of a day that also left other messages. In the first place, the defeat in the main squares of the uribismo and the Government party, the Democratic Center, that clinched Ivan Duke to the presidency. In the second place, the blow suffered in the capital for the leftist candidate of the party of Gustavo Petro, who last year competed with the incumbent in the second round, and who emerged as leader of the opposition. With these assumptions, the result of the capital has shaken the political chessboard, especially on the spectrum, progressive, with a view to the upcoming presidential election in 2022.
This happened by the usual dynamic-partisan and not because Lopez has attempted to encourage it. Petro made it clear that will be your adversary, but the new mayor opens with a few words that attempt to reduce political tensions and, above all, the social division. “We will bring to Bogotá, let’s make a Government for all, not only for those who believed in us,” he said. Had a round of applause for all their opponents, Carlos Fernando Galán, the son of the excandidato presidencial murdered in 1989, Miguel Uribe Turbay, the candidate supported by the Democratic Center, who predicted a bright future.
Now he faces the challenge of reconciling that statement with the realization of the project. Starting with the construction of a metro network in Bogota is spoken from the late forties and who has never seen the light. Or strengthen education and public health quality, in which emphasis was placed during the campaign. In addition to the challenges related to security and coexistence. What, for the moment, it is clear is that this program check to walk around with a new style of leadership, applauded by hundreds of thousands of young people, that somehow represents a new Colombia.