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Who is Francia Márquez, elected vice president of Colombia

2022-06-20T02:04:48.519Z

Get to know the profile of Francia Márquez, the woman who shook up politics in Colombia and Gustavo Petro's vice-presidential candidate in the June 19 elections.



Francia Márquez: We are going to eradicate patriarchy in Colombia 3:52

(CNN Spanish) -

Francia Márquez became the elected vice president of Colombia this Sunday, June 19, when she triumphed at the polls alongside Gustavo Petro in the second round of the country's presidential elections.

The rise of Francia Márquez in politics began with the electoral results in the consultation of the leftist coalition in Colombia that were historic.

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Francia Márquez (who grew up in Yolombó, Cauca, in 1981) is, according to her own description, the first "black, Afro-descendant, native of the most impoverished regions" of Colombia who took out a historic vote on March 13: she obtained more of 783,000 votes in the consultation of the Historical Pact (14%).

She participated on behalf of the Polo Democrático Alternativo party.

She was second after Gustavo Petro, who later called her to be his vice-presidential formula.

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The electoral phenomenon of Francia Márquez

Although Petro's victory was resounding, Francia Márquez's votes exceeded the expectations of experts, and he had more support from someone with greater visibility such as Camilo Romero, who was a senator and governor of the department of Nariño.

Francia Márquez's vote was higher than that of, for example, the winner of the center consultation, Sergio Fajardo, who obtained just over 723,000 votes.

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Francia Márquez toured a large part of the country with a campaign to —according to her— dignify politics and make visible the "nobodies", the women who have been violated and the victims of the violence in this country.

"I come from the territory of nobodies and nobodies, I come from forgotten territories in terms of social investment, but violated by a policy of death," Márquez told reporters in March.

"Then it would not make sense to be part of the Historical Pact if it is not going to transform those realities that people are still living."

Francia Márquez (Credit: JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Francia Márquez, an activist proud of her blackness

Francia Márquez was born on a mountain in the middle of two rivers in the municipality of Suárez, Cauca, in southwestern Colombia.

There, according to what he said, he learned about mining, agriculture and fishing.

From a very young age he began to lead spaces in his community, and to empower his own, even from the recognition of his blackness, in a highly racist country.

"I became an activist in the black communities process where I learned to recognize myself as a black woman, to recognize my hair, my blackness, with pride, because this country has made us feel ashamed, it has made us feel that we are responsible for the misfortunes that we have had to live through," said Márquez, who has been a champion of the struggles of black communities from an early age.

Francia Márquez: We are going to eradicate patriarchy in Colombia 3:52

Márquez is the mother of two children, whom, out of fear, she had to take out of the country while she advanced the current campaign, she said in March.

She is a lawyer graduated from the Santiago de Cali University and was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2018, something like a 'Nobel Prize for the Environment' for her struggle in the community of La Toma "to stop illegal gold mining on their ancestral land "that he was contaminating the river in which his entire community fished with mercury.

"I am because we are" is Francia Márquez's campaign slogan.

(Credit: LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

And although he says that he does not make promises, he stresses that it is "a priority" to solve the problem of hunger throughout the country.

But for that, he explains, it is necessary that his project reaches the presidency in the next three months.

Márquez has said that he does not care about the position he is in, but that he can work for the most vulnerable communities.

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According to what political analyst Jorge Andrés Hernández told CNN, before the March 13 elections, Márquez was seen as a woman with little political experience in popularly elected positions, to which she replies that her fight did not even begin with the Pact Historical nor with representative politics.

"I have been fighting to dignify life since my childhood," Márquez told a group of journalists in March.

Her fight against racism and in favor of feminism

Márquez says that his victory in the internal consultations is largely due to women and young people, and assures that his victory "is already evidence that we are breaking with patriarchy and machismo in politics."

With its campaign motto "I am because we are" it intends to seek racial justice, defend human rights and the care of life and territory, as well as the rights of women.

In fact, she says that thanks to many of the women in the country, she achieved the milestone of having the second vote in the Historic Pact.

"The disadvantage we had in this process is that most Colombian men and women don't know us," he says.

However, the feminist struggle transcendentally marks her political project.

She says that she is not interested in coming to power just for a position, nor in making deals with women who are about to break the "glass ceiling".

In Colombia, no woman has held the Presidency, but Marta Lucía Ramírez was chosen as the vice-presidential ticket by Iván Duque, and they won the presidential election in 2018. Ramírez is the first woman to hold the position of vice president.

"I am here to hold hands with the women who have not had a voice, with whom they have never had opportunities or privileges, whose voices have been silenced and those who have not been allowed due to their conditions as impoverished women and racialized live in peace, in peace and with dignity".

Gustavo Petro, candidate of Colombia Humana and the coalition of the Historical Pact, celebrates his victory in the left-wing referendum of the Historical Pact.

(Credit: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Editor's Note:

This piece was originally published on March 15 and was updated on June 19. 

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Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-06-20

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