Colombia election watch: 3 questions for Bogotá’s Claudia López

By bogotapost October 23, 2019

With the elections in just a few days, today we feature Claudia López to find out what she wants to achieve if elected.

Claudia López
Claudia López

The race to see who will replace Enrique Peñalosa as Bogotá’s mayor – arguably the second most important position in the country – is hotting up. More than 25 candidates initially threw their hats into the ring, but that list has now been whittled down to four: Carlos Fernando Galán, Claudia López, Hollman Morris and Miguel Uribe Turbay.

Local elections will take place across the country on October 27 to elect mayors, governors, deputies and councilors. Those elected will take up their positions on January 1, 2020 and serve four-year terms. 

Name: Claudia López

Age: 49

Party connections: Alianza Verde, Polo Democrático

Background: The Bogotá born-and-raised senator for the Alianza Verde has been involved in politics since her student days. In 2010 she edited Y refunda el patria, a book which unravels the links between armed groups, drug trafficking and the Colombian political class. Last year, she was running mate to Sergio Fajardo in the presidential elections, and also championed the citizen-led anti-corruption consultation.

If you are elected, what would you most like to achieve during your time as mayor?

“This cultural environment, this creative culture – the critical thinking – which channels culture in all its forms. We need to care for this human culture and regulate it so that we don’t hurt each other. What I understand as civic culture in the twenty-first century is the fifth part of the complete package – along with security, mobility (constructing the metro and improving the TransMilenio), free education, and work and health.”

When people come to visit from other places, what do you enjoy doing most with them / what is the place you prefer to take them to in Bogotá?

“One is, without doubt, the historical and iconic tourist sites, which we know. But the second would be to get a taste for Bogotá’s barrios popular, like the Plaza de Mercado La Perseverancia, 12 de octubre, and the transmicable in Ciudad Bolívar. I would showcase not only the iconic sites, but also those that highlight the popular, everyday Bogotá, which is marvelous. Finally, I like to show them Bogotá’s surroundings. The highlands of Cundinamarca are absolutely beautiful. I like to show guests Sumapaz, Boyaca, and the salt cathedral of Zipaquira.”

What one word would you want people to use when they describe you?

“In the street, people use the words ‘vieja verraca valiente’ – bold and courageous woman. That’s how people who know me describe me. I hope they will keep calling me that when I am Mayor and that I can live up to that description, using that braveness to give security, mobility, trust, education, employment, and culture to Bogotá.”