Colombia 2022 elections: Rodolfo Hernandez and the snail strategy: Hide to win the presidency | Colombia presidential elections

Rodolfo Hernandez announced that he will not attend public discussions and will maintain his commitment to social networks.Juan Barreto (AFP)

“Do not steal, do not lie, do not betray …” and do not argue. Rodolfo Hernandez’s campaign bets on a snail’s strategy: Hide to win the Colombian presidency. Not attending the discussions, and disappearing from the places where he has to confront Gustavo Pietro seems to be the main bet for the former mayor of Bucaramanga to get to Casa de Nariño, the presidential palace. So far I have worked with him. Without doing so in the first round, and avoiding giving great details of his government’s plan, he secured nearly six million votes on May 29. And now it continues to grow in the latest polls until it is ahead of the leader of the left.

“I will not attend the discussions because I will not be involved in these polarizing and hateful dynamics where the game aims to destroy the other within a minute and a half. I will make better use of the time and will present my ideas in interviews and through my social networks,” Hernandez said via Instagram while the feminist debate was taking place. , which only Peter attended. The candidate who invited the union insisted that “since May 29, Petro and his comrades have taken an offensive stance focused on demolishing me and destroying my project.”

His decision not to participate in presidential debates or mass events caused controversy. A group of women sent a letter to the National Electoral Council (CNE) to try to ask Hernandez to attend the appointments. “Citizens have the right to listen to their programs and proposals,” said former Senator Angela Maria Robledo, who signed the letter. It is based on Law 996 of 2005, which requires candidates to attend at least three presidential debates in corporate media. But he hides behind his stage on social media, where he is known as “The Old Man from Tik Tok”, a place where he can control his narration and repeat phrases that have earned him so much affection among citizens: thieves and corrupt people.

He’s been doing that since the first round. Last March, he was also questioned by a TV journalist because, in a country with low levels of internet connectivity, he privileges social networks and does not go to debates. The reporter asks, “Don’t you think it’s disrespectful to voters who don’t have an internet connection to have your campaign limited to digital and not go into the public arena?” The candidate, who is known to be a collector, responds forcefully: “Is it my fault that these people don’t have the Internet or is it the fault of the thieves who ruled? The answer, let’s see, answer me.”

At that same press conference, when he registered his candidacy, he gave evidence of his strategy of not organizing events in the public arena. “How many votes do you think are necessary to win the presidency? It’s only 10 million and you know the protests are prefabricated and cost a lot of money,” he replied to bolster his hard-line image during the campaign.

But not only because of austerity. According to his strategist, Angel Picassino, this was a choice. “La calle tiene tres caminos, uno son las manifestaciones públicas, otro es caminar la calle y el tercero, que no trabajamos por falta de tiempo, es golpear puertas y generar la sensación de que personá en je el habrioí house.” They and Rodolfo Hernandez choose to walk down the street and take him to caravanserais on motorbikes and cars, where voters put on the Colombian jersey and blow vuvuzelas.

The street has been crossed by a social networking strategy that, according to Perla Toro, an expert in digital communications, was not traditional networks. “It had two battle scenarios: Tik Tok and geo-located WhatsApp groups with community managers ready to always listen to people. It also created a web page, instead of messing around with billboards and newspaper battles, where a person signs up and can instantly join WhatsApp groups, separated by municipalities” . In addition, he had a commitment to “gamification”, that is, the game mechanic. This also explains Mario Sanchez, Volunteer in Networks Rudolfestas In Bogotá: “We work as if it were referral marketing”, that is, they can connect with other voters and invite more people.

Radio, especially the village, Hernandez declared, was the other key and reminiscent of the strategy used by former President Alvaro Uribe in his first campaign when he gave interviews to local radio stations. In recent days, Hernandez has given interviews to national radio, but even in a censored way, as he risks improvising and making statements that, according to Picassino himself, later suggest doing “damage control.” His mother, wife and cum formula Marilyn Castillo also spoke. There were not many of his children, one of whom the father was implicated in an alleged case of improper execution of a public contract when he was mayor of Bucaramanga.

If Hernandez is a puzzle during the first round; Now he plays as unpredictable. Supported by politicians from the right, he made more moderate proposals calling for the political center. Through Twitter, he presented 20 keys that differentiate him from Uribismo as he mentioned his support for decriminalizing abortion (which is already a law), legalizing medical cannabis and a peace agreement. But the lack of coherence between his statements in the media, his social networks and his government plan confuses voters.

“Before the National Elections Council, we condemn the inconsistencies that Hernández has shown regarding the document presented to be a presidential candidate and the proposals he conveys in the media and networks. The proposal, who led the women’s message in which they also criticize the “misogynistic and masculine character” expressed by Hernández, said Robledo, who led the women’s message in which they also criticize “the misogynistic and masculine character expressed by Hernández,” Completely different from what he is referring to now.” The feminist politician said, “Sexism kills, and these expressions of masculinity and ignorance endanger women’s lives.”

But while part of the country is demanding that its government plan be defined, the rest celebrate the way he expresses himself, which has not stopped voting for him. And in the latest poll released this week, Hernandez leads Petro by 52% to 44%. “My suggestion is not to steal from the Colombians,” he said. This is the idea he has been expressing for months, and which has earned him the support, both on the right and in the political centre, who gather around him either out of anti-Petrism or out of conviction.

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