South Florida’s Colombian community got the opportunity to cast their votes for the next President of Colombia last month. Colombian citizens registered to vote got the opportunity to exercise that right at Cypress Bay High School during a historic Presidential election.
According to the Colombian Consul General, Pedro Augstin Valencia, more than 50,000 Colombians living in South Florida cast votes in the election. The Colombian government set up voting locations across Florida, with sites in Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa.
Lines at Cypress Bay were long at the high school as Colombian ex-pats voted for President. None of the candidates earned over 50% of the vote, causing a runoff election on June 21st. The election results were surprising to many around the world, with former rebel Gustavo Petro narrowly defeating Rodolfo Hernandez by just 2%.
Petro will be Colombia’s first leftist president and ushers in a drastic change in the country’s politics. He was a one-time leader of the now-defunct rebel group M-19 but was granted amnesty after being imprisoned for his involvement in the organization.
The vote came amongst widespread discontent in the country over inflation, violent crime, and income inequality.