They are the most unique elections in recent Colombian history. For the first time, a lone ranger who has rejected the support of the electoral machines of the traditional political parties can reach the presidency.

The businessman Rodolfo Hernández, former mayor of Bucaramanga, was unknown to most of the country until, thanks to TikTok and with a powerful anti-corruption message, almost his only flag, he managed to become popular in a few months and dispute this Sunday the second electoral round with Gustavo Petro.

The leader of the Historical Pact, a movement of the extreme left, aspires to the presidency for the third time, although it is the occasion in which he has more possibilities of winning. His victory would mean that the leftist wing of Latin America, which has in its ranks the Chilean Gabriel Boric and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, among others, would gain one more member and the United States would lose the nation that was always its best ally in the region. .

They are also different elections because Álvaro Uribe, who has been decisive in the election of all the presidents since he himself was elected in 2002, has preferred to disappear from the map since last March and not opt ​​for anyone. Despite his isolation, Petro insists on labeling Hernández as the underdog of the Duque government and Uribe, since he has spent years proclaiming that he is the true and only alternative to the former president and needs to keep him alive on the political scene.

But the engineer, as his rival is called, has repeatedly declared that he is not a Petrista or a Uribista, the two poles that divide the country. His proposal is aimed at promoting private initiative, reducing the size of the State, which he considers inept and wasteful, and combating corruption, the gangrene that devours trillions from the treasury each year.

Petro, for his part, who incorporated several former ministers of Juan Manuel Santos into his team, although he assures that his is the candidacy of change and a radical cut with those who have always governed, he prefers to enlarge the State and increase the number of subsidies . He promises, for example, that the public sector will hire three million unemployed if they can’t get a job in any company.

On the other hand, and given the risk of disturbances if Petro loses, since the authorities have detected protest plans by violent groups to provoke altercations, considering that they can only defeat him with fraud, the government has increased vigilance in some cities. In addition, and as usual, there are more than three hundred thousand police and military personnel deployed throughout the country, in the so-called Operation Democracy. One of his missions will be to prevent attacks and the interference of the guerrillas and mafia gangs, who have announced that they support Petro.

One of those criminal groups, the FARC-EP from the department of Cauca, in the northwest of the country, where they are very strong, issued a statement this Friday forcing the inhabitants of their areas of influence to vote.

“As of Monday, June 20, the identity document, letter of recommendation and the second-round electoral certificate will be required for entry and transit through the territories,” reads an excerpt from the pamphlet distributed by the heir group of the old FARC . “They must put abstentionism aside and take a political position,” he added.

As for foreign delegates who guarantee the transparency of the elections, Vice President Martha Lucía Ramírez reported that “fifty organizations to carry out electoral observation and 418 international observers from thirty-three countries” are already in Colombia, a figure that far exceeds to those of previous electoral processes.

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