- BBC News World
On Sunday, Colombians will choose between Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernandez the person who will replace Ivan Duque as president of Colombia from August 7.
The first round of the presidential election, held on May 29, gave a surprising result: the majority of Colombians gave their vote to two figures outside the traditional Colombian political spectrum, which was interpreted as a search for a change of political course.
On the other hand, the leftist candidate Petro, a former mayor of Bogota with a past linked to the subversive group M-19 (which was involved in the ill-fated takeover of the Palace of Justice in 1985), is promoting a new economy. country model.
On the other hand, Hernandez, Construction businessman and former mayor of Bucaramangawho won his nomination without much support from traditional political groups, but captured the votes of the right and publicly campaigned to end corruption, despite being formally accused of doing so.
However, the disagreement between these two files, which is unusual in a second election round in Colombia and with a virtual tie in all opinion polls published in recent weeks, has destabilized the electoral environment.
At BBC Mundo, we tell you about three controversies that caused an uproar in Colombia Before the final vote.
A few days after the first presidential run, a video was released, lasting no more than two minutes, in which the senator and Gustavo Petro’s debate head, Rui Barreras, revealed how he managed to destabilize it by questionable methods. Other contenders for the presidency.
Barreras indicated in the video that he was able to “activate” the call Hope AllianceThe many leaders who tried to represent the middle of the Colombian political spectrum united behind one candidate, the former mayor of Medellín Sergio Fajardo.
The most remarkable thing about the video, other than what Barreras says, is that in the photos Pietro can be seen listening, without saying a word, to the presentation of his debate chief.
However, it wasn’t the only video that got leaked. Semana has released a major reveal: several hours of taping in which Barreras is seen again – but this time with other close collaborators – admitting to the strategies used not only against Fajardo, but also against Federico Gutierrez, who scored as a freelancer but represents a large part of Uribismo.
The main strategy was to discredit other campaigns. On several occasions, the term “blast” or “split” has been used.
It also reveals a kind of ‘gray plan’ or ‘plan B’, where the goal was to reveal “Fake news” and memes on social networks to discredit other candidates.
Fajardo and Gutierrez both failed to reach the second round.
And the verses of those who call nowPetrofusThey hit the leftist candidate’s campaign so hard that Barreras announced that he would isolate himself to avoid further damage to Pietro’s image.
Colombian journalist Maria Jimena Dozan The revelation may cost Petro the presidency.
“Left candidate Gustavo Pietro may lose the election because his enemies, his and his greatest enemies, have infiltrated the war room and exposed all his shame,” he wrote in El Pais newspaper.
“There is nothing illegal in the videos, but they reveal the worst face of politics, the one that promotes petty strategies and tactics to eliminate the opponent.”
The media that published the videos, especially Semana magazine, were selected for it Edit and filter them at your convenience To damage Petro and favor Hernandez.
A few hours after the National Registry announced the two candidates going into the second round, engineer Rodolfo Hernandez stated that he would not attend any discussion with his opponent Gustavo Petro.
He noted that “the way El Ingenero will call for the unity of the country, by proposing change, will be through interviews with various means of communication and live broadcasting through his social networks.”
The decision was severely criticized by various sectors of society. Especially by a group of six progressive political leaders who asked National Electoral Council You will force the candidate to sit at the discussion table.
“Hernandez’s decision violates the safeguards we have as citizens that we choose to inform,” said Congresswoman Angela Maria Robledo, one of the applicants.
Although it could be considered a surprising decision, it was not unusual in the Colombian political context. Even during this campaign Gustavo Petro refuse to participate In various television debates, arguing that he will focus on direct messages in the public arena.
However, Petro himself requested a final discussion with Hernandez before the second round.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Bogota ordered the two candidates to attend a televised debate in the 48 hours following the publication of the ruling.
Although there is no law requiring candidates to participate in television or radio debates, the court has ruled in favor of guardianship which requires the right of people to vote properly.
Both candidates agreed to participate in the debate, but Hernandez announced a series of conditions, Among them is that it is performed in Bucaramanga, the city for which he was mayor.
Petro accepted the terms of his rival.
This Thursday, steps are being taken to have public media RCTV organize the debate.
3. “Social Explosion”
On Wednesday, it was announced that the National Police had arrested 25 people in connection with the so-called “first line”.
This is how members of the most active organizations became known in the social outbreak that occurred in Colombia in April 2021, as millions of people took to the streets to protest against the economic measures taken by the government of Ivan Duque. They are the ones who formed the first shock line in the event of confrontations with the police.
Many of them were killed by unknown assailants or lost their eyes and died in clashes with riot police. Since then, dozens of frontline members have been accused of rioting and violent crimes.
According to the authorities, the arrests were made in the cities of Cali – where the largest mobilization took place during the protests – and Bucaramanga, where candidate Hernandez belongs.
According to the National Police, the operations were carried out with the aim of preventing criminal acts. Before, during and after Election Day this Sunday.
Many media outlets indicate that the decision of the security authorities is related to the statements of Sophia Petro, one of the daughters of the leftist candidate, who stated that if her father was not elected, a new social explosion would occur.
“We are finding out who Rodolfo Hernandez really is and we can’t allow him to be president. I think, in my opinion, that if that were the case, it could lead to a social explosion much worse than last year”He told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
However, both Sophia and her father have come out to clarify these sayings, noting that the sayings are out of context.
“On election day, on our side, there will be the utmost calm. And the brutal attack against my daughter Sophia has, deep down, a reason: they will never see her sign a bribe receipt for public contracts in the notary, and they will not see her enriching herself with the business of government,” the candidate explained. “.
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