He came to the campaign in a different way than usual, like everything that concerns Rodolfo Hernández. A friend from the university world asked him for his CV when he found out that the candidate was looking for a vice president for his electoral ticket. They told her that she intended to choose a woman on merit, not on hooks, and Marelen Castillo has a brilliant career.
She accepted, not so much thinking that they could select her, but in order to participate in the elaboration of the Education program of the candidate for the presidency, because she has been devising improvements for years.
A native of Cali, 53 years old, married, with two children in their twenties, a graduate in Biology and Chemistry, an Industrial Engineer, a doctorate in Education from the Nova Southeastern University of Florida, until last month she held the position of Rector of the Uniminuto University at a distance , a prestigious academic center aimed at the lower and middle classes.
“I come from a humble family and our parents told us that to improve we had to study. In addition, they are complementary careers, when I studied they validated subjects and I never thought of working in a company, I did it thinking about teaching,” he explains to EL WORLD. “My strength is the basic sciences and what I like is teaching, higher education and administrative academic management, where I oriented myself”,
His careers, his professional career, together with his Afro-descendant origin, from a modest family, and that he managed to climb the social ladder by hand, were as decisive as the interview that Rodolfo Hernández did with him. It was easy for them to understand each other and verify that they had points in common to move the country forward. And although Marelen has worked for him all his life, he considers the opinion of his family essential, and he consulted them before giving the definitive yes.
“I sat down with my husband and my children, and they told me: we are always complaining about everything from the sidelines and now that we have the opportunity to collaborate, it is not the time to back down,” Castillo recalls.
The Constitution only assigns the vice president the role of substitute for the Head of State in the event of death or a mishap that prevents him from continuing at the helm, but it is likely that he will occupy the Education portfolio, in accordance with his extensive work experience. In addition, Castillo recalls that “austerity, efficiency and effectiveness” are Rodolfo Hernández’s flags, therefore, the vice presidency will assume a high responsibility, which means, incidentally, saving jobs for the State.
At the beginning, when he landed in the campaign, he hinted that he lacked tables, especially in the debates with his rivals. She did not have the self-confidence of Francia Márquez, used to dealing with the media, attacking opponents and making demagogic and explosive statements that please the audience and provoke discussions on social networks.
“The perfect strangers in Colombia, we are more. Those of us who have to work, fight, to give more opportunities to our children, are more. We do not come by surnames, we are workers, made by hand, we make a country every day Castle says.
Little by little she has been gaining ground and she seems more and more confident, although she has a hard time getting her head out of the daily media avalanche that the campaigns move. She declares herself neutral, she has never belonged to any party, she is moderate and prudent, she never attacks her opponents, she avoids thorny issues that are not within her sphere and, therefore, she does not set an informative line or make headlines.
“The polarization and lack of respect bothers me. My position is to invite the union of Colombia, we have to stop the class struggle,” she insists, disconcerted to learn that they sent anonymous letters to the North American university where she studied, asking if her claim is true. doctorate degree, searching for any trace of irregularity to disavow it.
“Aren’t we going to change the way of doing politics in Colombia?” he wonders. Her answer is that she and Rodolfo Hernández can do it.
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