At age 62, with a political career that began in 1981, Gustavo Petro, leader of the Pacto Histórico coalition, is Colombia’s first leftist president. He will govern alongside Vice President Francia Márquez, an Afro-Colombian lawyer and environmentalist leader. The duo will begin their new role on August 7, the date on which the Battle of Boyacá is commemorated.
While the election results were announced on Sunday (19), the Movistar Arena, the venue chosen by the Historic Pact to monitor the results, was filled with women, Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, youth and LGBTIQ people, the protagonists of this historic election day. to Colombia. Petro beat right-wing businessman Rodolfo Hernández in the second round with 50.44% of the votes against 47.31%.
In the evening, the vice-president-elect Francia Márquez and Gustavo Petro took the stage. The first speech was made by the deputy and was addressed especially to her region: “After 214 years, we managed to have a government of the people, a popular government, the government of the people with calloused hands, the government of the people with bare feet, the government of the nobodies and nobodies of Colombia.”
Petro, for his part, defended Latin America’s unity to face the climate emergency and the country’s rebellious heritage.
At midnight, the capital of Colombia was still celebrating. the faces of women from the popular neighborhoods of Bogotá, of the young people who participated in the 2021 protests, of ethnic plurality and sexual diversity took over the streets.
“During the pandemic, we raised red scarves, asking for help and I think that this government and the criminal structures that support it could no longer remain in power,” said Nicolás Malpic.
Miguel Carrillo highlighted the meaning of his vote for the Historic Pact: “For me it is a vote for hope, for the ideal that Colombia can be a country for all people and not just for those who until today have had only privileges.”
“I feel totally identified with Francia Márquez, I go along with her fight for women and for female empowerment”, stated Johana Jimenez.