With many labels they have tried to define Claudia López as a politician and as a human being: woman, lesbian, first mayor of Bogotá, anti-corruption fight, screamer, emphatic, etc. However, the label she defined for her political career and especially for this campaign is one, “a woman of the common”.
The elected mayor was born into a middle-class family who suffered all the inclemencies of an unequal country, which dodged all the needs presented to a girl born in a popular middle class neighborhood in a huge city that, if not friendly in the 21st century, much less was it in the 70s when she grew up in the neighborhoods La Granja, Puente Aranda, La Candelaria, Engativá and even in one of the most depressed areas of Bogotá, in Ciudad Bolívar.
Daughter of a school teacher and a merchant of humble origin, López is the eldest of six brothers among whom her “Guardian Angel” has stood out, as she herself has called her, her sister Martha, who died very small at the age of three as a result of an accident in a children’s game.
Her political life began when she studied biology at the District University of Colombia and together with other students from other public and private universities, she led the movement for the Seventh Ballot that gave rise to the National Constituent Assembly that in 1991 gave life to the new Colombian constitution.
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This opened the eyes of the young Claudia to the fight for democracy in Colombia and with only 20 years old she decided to change the course of her life forever and start a new career at the Externado University of Colombia. Finance, government and foreign relations, studies paid with ICETEX credits.
Then, she obtained a scholarship to do a master’s degree in public administration at Columbia University in New York and finally a doctorate in Political Science at Northwestern University in Chicago.
In 2013, she decided to leave the country to protect her life because of repeated threats, allegedly, by Kiko Gómez, former governor of La Guajira, today captured and convicted of murder in a jail in Colombia and Marquitos Figueroa, also linked to criminal acts. On that occasion, she tweeted from her account: “Yesterday I left the country as a preventive measure. I hope to return soon when the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office do their job and verify. ”
In 2014, the analyst and journalist returned and uncovered corruption scandals, exposing the nature of power in Colombia. On that occasion, López aspired to the Senate of the Republic obtaining a seat. At that time, she obtained a non-negligible vote of 81,125 votes representing the party of her loves, Alianza Verde.
From there, she consolidated the anti-corruption fight she had started since 2006 when she published reports on electoral anomalies in regional elections in the Semana Magazine, which resulted in the processes of parapolitics that uncovered the links of Colombian politicians with the army of criminals of the Self-Defense Groups United of Colombia (AUC, in Spanish), revealing enough to bring more than 50 politicians of the national and regional order to jail.
At the end of 2016, she announced her nomination as the first candidate of her party to participate in the presidential elections in 2018 and in the campaigning, forming the Colombia Coalition, composed of the Democratic Pole, Citizen Commitment and Green Alliance Party, was a candidate to the vice presidency of the Republic accompanying Sergio Fajardo in the presidential aspiration, achieving the third highest vote in the first electoral round.
One of the most controversial moments Claudia López has starred was when she referred in one of her columns to Luis Alfredo Ramos, elected governor of Antioquia for the period 2008 – 2011 and follower of former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez. On that occasion Claudia wrote “Ramos could have been elected without the support of the paramilitaries and he chose not to do so”, which resulted in a criminal complaint for insult and slander.
Le agradezco al señor Presidente de la Republica @IvanDuque su llamada y felicitación ayer, así como al señor Alcalde Mayor @EnriquePenalosa con quien hemos conversado hoy y acordado reunirnos y empezar el empalme mañana a las 10am. #BogotáReverdece pic.twitter.com/bNowvv5iqM
— Claudia López 👍 (@ClaudiaLopez) October 28, 2019
However, the statements of López Hernández were confirmed with the capture of the Uribista Ramos Botero for three years for alleged links with paramilitaries. It should be noted that his son, Alfredo Ramos Maya was a candidate for mayor of Medellin by the Democratic Center, Alvaro Uribe’s party, also defeated by an independent candidate, Daniel Quintero.
The truth is that from all labels that can fit the new elected mayor of Bogotá, there is one more that stands out and is the candidate obtained the most votes in the history of the elections for mayor by popular vote in the Capital of the coffee country: 1,108,541 votes corresponding to 35.21% of the total.
Most Bogota citizens voted for a woman, for a homosexual woman, for a politician who fights against corruption and for a ‘screamer’.Undoubtedly, the label that prevails, after all the previous ones, is that of being a human being like any other who stands out and moves forward towards a harmonious and sustainable development between the economy, mobility, transport, education, security and, above all, the environmental protection of the main ecological structure of Bogotá.
Read the original article from the Latinamerican Post here.