Lopez becomes Bogota’s first female mayor

Source:AFP Published: 2019/10/28 21:23:40

Claudia Lopez, new mayor of Bogota, greets her supporters after she won the election against her main contender Carlos Fernando Galan (not seen) in Bogota, Colombia on Sunday. Photo: IC

Claudia Lopez, a symbol of the fight against corruption in Colombia, became the first woman to be elected mayor of Bogota on Sunday.

The 49-year-old anti-graft campaigner was competing in the first local elections since a historic peace deal to end an armed insurgency that plagued the country for half a century. 

Lopez first stepped into the national spotlight after helping to expose links between Colombian lawmakers and right-wing paramilitary groups. She was briefly forced to flee the country after the scandal came to light but returned to be elected senator in 2014 and stood as a vice presidential candidate in last year's national elections. 

Lopez won the mayoral poll with just over 35 percent of the vote in a narrow triumph over liberal Carlos Fernando Galan.

"Not only did we win, but we're changing history," Lopez said on Twitter after her win.

The victory for Lopez, who is openly gay and claims humble origins, in the capital city of 7.2 million people is a significant step forward in a country used to being led by male elites.

"Being a woman is not a fault, being a headstrong woman, firm... is not a fault. Being gay is not a fault, being a girl from a modest family is not a fault," Lopez told AFP last week.

More than a third of the 116,000 candidates for mayor, governor and local assembly posts nationwide in Sunday's elections were women.

President Ivan Duque lauded the elections for attracting the "largest number of candidates in history."

Posted in: AMERICAS

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