Profiles and Key Challenges of Vice President Candidates

In the first presidential round, the candidates for the post of Vice President were identified: Francia Marquez, Formula Gustavo Pietro, and Marlene Castillo, who accompanies Rodolfo Hernandez on the card, are the two women who will compete for the top position in the executive branch.

The election of either of the two women means an achievement in terms of diversity. Both have Afro-Colombian roots and are a sign of broad ethnic representation in the electoral competition, which includes five Afro-Colombian vice presidential candidates.

On the other hand, both represent sectors of society, struggles and ideas that will also be made available to Colombians for the second presidential session, which will take place on June 19.

France Marquis

France Elena Marques Mina was born 40 years ago in Suarez, a small municipality in the north of Cauca. She is a social and environmental leader who has fought against illegal mining, arguing for its harmful effects on society and the environment.

Francia Marquez studied law at the University of Santiago de Cali, but the activity was her full-time profession.

He grew up in a society where raising children is a collective matter. He lived in his ancestral home to his mother and father, as well as with his mother and brothers. His environment was rural, agricultural, livestock, and artisanal mining.

She has been active since she was 13, when she fought to keep the Ovegas River not diverted. At the age of sixteen, she had her first child and had to work to raise him. From an early age, she devoted herself to working in gold mines and as a domestic domestic worker.

From there, he led social mobilization against the exploitation of mining in ancestral lands. All his activism brought threats of which he has been a victim since 2014.

At the end of that year, he participated in peace talks between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC in Havana to talk about the impact of the armed conflict on Afro-Colombian communities.

In 2018, she received the Goldman Environmental Award, a recognition that led to her inclusion in BBC 100 Women. In 2019 they attempted to assassinate him in Cauca, an attack that injured two members of his security scheme.

In Gustavo Pietro’s eventual government, Márquez would be in charge of the Ministry of Equality, one of his strongest proposals. It will work in particular with minority communities to improve their living conditions. Her strength is the environment and the woman, because she considers herself a feminist.

Marlin Castle

Marilyn Castillo Torres, 53, was born and raised in the La Piz neighborhood of Cali. She is the eldest of five sisters and, like Francia Marquez, is of African descent. However, this is not the only coincidence with Gustavo Pietro’s formula.

Castillo studied biology, his first undergraduate degree, at the University of Santiago de Cali. From there, he started his career that became his profession: education. She was a secondary school teacher for eleven years, while studying industrial engineering at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente.

After graduation, he devoted himself to university teaching. She has held positions such as Dean of Engineering and Business Sciences, Vice Academic Adviser, and Dean in Charge of the Lumen Gentium Catholic University Foundation. Before being equivalent to Rodolfo Hernandez, she was the president of the virtual and remote Uniminuto University.

In addition to this, he holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Management, and a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University in the United States.

As another coincidence with Marquez, his focus will also be on social inequality and ending inequality. So far, it plans to bridge social gaps and serve the most vulnerable population of Colombia.

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