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Colombians in US vote for right-wing loser candidates, making Trump’s ‘reflection’ go against the left

MIAMI – As former US President Donald Trump has promised, Rodolfo Hernández said he is such a wealthy businessman that if he is elected president he can afford not to receive his government salary.

Like Trump, Hernández has used social media to surprise political pundits with his influence. That BBC and Reuters paid tribute to his new self-proclaimed title “King of TikTok”.

The 77-year-old ex-Bucaramanga mayor is rude and unpredictable. Because of his similarities to the 45th US President, some observers refer to him as “Trump’s reflection in Colombia.”

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“Everyone in Miami knows what happens when a communist is in power. We know better,” said M. Natalia Suarez, a Colombian-American from Cali, in Spanish.

Anti-Corruption Governors League presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernandez shows his ballot before voting in the presidential election in Bucaramanga, Colombia on Sunday, May 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Mauricio Pinzon) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Only about 39.6% of Colombian voters registered in the United States took part in Sunday’s presidential election – leading to an unexpected June 19 runoff.

“I worked, so I couldn’t vote. There’s a lot of picks for us this weekend, but I’ll try to vote to make sure guerrilla fighter don’t ruin our country,” Suarez said in Spanish.

Officially show records About 64.4% of Colombian voters in the US voted for Federico “Fico” Gutierrez, the right-wing 47-year-old former mayor of Medellin. records show about 16% of them voted for Senator Gustavo Petro, the left-leaning 62-year-old former mayor of the Colombian capital Bogotá.

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The political reality was different in Colombia.

The presidential election narrowed down to two opposites: Petro, an economist and former member of the M-19 guerrilla, had about 40.3% of the total vote. Hernández, the entrepreneur and engineer, had 28.5% of the total vote.

“Several right-wing lawmakers in Colombia have openly supported Trump in 2020,” said Local 10 News reporter Cody Weddle wrote on Twitter earlier this week.

Gutierrez, a harsh critic of Petro, was outed with 23.91% of the total vote. He and the other four candidates fell behind with about 30% of the total vote. They had yet to publicly announce who they would be supporting next by Monday afternoon.

Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, left, and his running mate Francia Marquez, with the Historic Pact coalition, stand in front of supporters on election night in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, May 29, 2022. Their ticket will advance to a runoff contest in June after zero, with the six candidates in Sunday’s first round getting half the votes. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“Petro is a leader who attracts crowds,” columnist Juan Francisco Valbuena wrote in Spanish for El Tiempo adding, “A lot of that support comes from the youth, who see him as the leader who can change the country.”

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Economic injustices have often been at the center of debates. Colombia’s economy partially recovered last year and the World Bank Estimated April that the national poverty rate has fallen from about 42.5% in 2020 to 38.6% in 2021.

The race also defined that regardless of who wins on June 19, another woman will take over Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez’s office at the Casa de Nariño, the official residence of the Colombian President.

Hernández and Petro both selected graduates of the private, non-profit University of Santiago de Cali as their vice presidential candidates.

Petro chose Francia Márquez, a lawyer and 2018 Goldman Environmental Award Winner. The 40-year-old Afro-Colombian former housekeeper is known for her activism against illegal mining.

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At the last minute, Hernández selected Marelen Castillo Torres, a 53-year-old academic with a PhD in education Nova Southeastern University in South Florida.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.

https://www.local10.com/news/local/2022/05/28/at-least-1-dies-after-van-crashes-into-alligator-infested-retention-pond/ Colombians in US vote for right-wing loser candidates, making Trump’s ‘reflection’ go against the left

Sarah Y. Kim

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