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Famed ex-hostage Ingrid Betancourt to run for Colombia president with Green Party

p ingrid betancourt

From the Washington Post:

A spokesman for Colombia’s Green Party says famed former rebel hostage Ingrid Betancourt will seek to represent it in next year’s presidential elections.

Party spokesman Antonio Sanguino said Friday that Betancourt will compete in the party’s March primary.

She will vie against pre-candidates that could include former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa and former M-19 rebel Antonio Navarro Wolf.

The 51-year-old Betancourt spent more than six years as a hostage of FARC rebels before her July 2008 rescue. She had been abducted while running for president. Continue Reading

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Uribe heir defeats Green Party’s Mockus in Colombian presidential runoff

Juan Manuel Santos, former defense minister of Colombia and standard-bearer for outgoing president Alvaro Uribe’s Party of the U, received 69% of the vote in Colombia’s presidential runoff on June 20th, over 27.5% for Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus. The New York Times reports:

Dissatisfaction over Colombia’s social inequalities and resilient corruption during Mr. Uribe’s government had buoyed the candidacy of Mr. Mockus, the former Bogotá mayor, until a series of gaffes derailed his chances. Mr. Mockus, a soft-spoken intellectual and the son of Lithuanian immigrants, still ran one of the most innovative campaigns in recent Latin American history, using social-media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, to champion an anticorruption platform and unconventional ideas like raising taxes. Continue Reading

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Colombia Green Party’s Mockus heads to June 20 presidential runoff

Green Party candidate for president of Colombia Antanas Mockus garnered 21.5% of the vote in Sunday’s presidential election to place second after defense minister Juan Manuel Santos, who led with 46.6%. Mockus and Santos will advance to the runoff election on June 20th. Here is a statement from the Global Green Coordination in support of Mockus and the Colombian Greens:

The Global Green Coordination representing more than 80 green parties from around the world, greets the surging campaign for the upcoming presidential elections being conducted by the Colombian Green Party and its candidate Antanas Mockus. The spectacular support they are receiving opens a completely new and promising perspective for this country, delivering hope to overcome the dominating violence, corruption and social injustice. We call on the Colombian electorate to vote for Antanas Mockus and the proposals of the Colombian Green Party. Continue Reading

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Elección Colombiana

Traducción por Babelfish

Hoy la elección presidencial de Colombia fue celebrada hoy, y los resultados de elección se esperan pronto. Un informe preliminar de Reuters demuestra al candidato del establecimiento, Juan Manuel Santos, a continuación por 47.7% a 22.3% para el candidato del Partido Verde, Antanas Mockus. Con solamente 6.29% del voto divulgó hasta ahora, los resultados son poco concluyente. Informes anteriores indicaron que Santos haría mejor en Colombia rural, mientras que Mockus haría mejor en ambientes urbanos. Más como vueltas vienen adentro.

La página de Facebook de Mockus, en español, está aquí.

Hay mas aqui–> Continue Reading

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Colombian election today

Colombia’s Presidential election was held today, and election results are expected soon. A preliminary report from Reuters shows the establishment candidate, Juan Manuel Santos, ahead by 47.7% to 22.3% for the Green Party nominee, Antanas Mockus. With only 6.29% of the vote reported so far, the results are inconclusive. Earlier reports indicated that Santos would do best in rural Colombia, while Mockus would do best in urban settings. More as returns come in.

Mockus’ Facebook page, in Spanish, is here.

Continue Reading

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Colombian Green presidential candidate interviewed in LA Times

From Charles Kraul at the Los Angeles Times:

Reporting from Armenia, Colombia — The surprise of the Colombian presidential campaign has been the surge of Bogota’s former mayor, Antanas Mockus, from nowhere to the top of voter preference polls in advance of first-round voting on May 30.

After twice running unsuccessfully, the cerebral Green Party candidate owes his lead to an alliance with another popular ex-mayor, Medellin’s Sergio Fajardo, as his vice presidential running mate; the support of young voters; and his use of online social media. Though Colombians admire outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, a significant number of them are fed up with political scandals and want a new direction.

A 58-year-old former university rector and the son of Lithuanian immigrants, Mockus is the quintessential anti-politician, touting ethics and good citizenship. He attributes the reduction in crime during his two mayoral stints to restricting alcohol sales in trouble zones, as well as urging Bogotanos to restrain “the rude person inside of us.” Mockus recently disclosed that he suffers from early-stage Parkinson’s disease but said his neurologists assured him that he has 10 years before the malady becomes debilitating. He spoke with The Times after a campaign rally here in the heart of Colombia’s coffee-growing district.

Speaking of Plan Colombia, the U.S.-funded program to combat drugs and terrorism, U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield said he has never seen two countries more in sync than Colombia and the United States. As president, would you maintain that?

I would like a certain stepping back from current anti-drug policy so that Colombian society can explore all the implications of drug trafficking: the supposed benefits for some sectors and the costs borne by youth, the environment, the justice system and institutions. No one is going to resolve the problem of drug trafficking but Colombians. Continue Reading

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Colombia’s surging ‘Green Wave’

Van Ferrier has written an article at The Media Co-op about Antanas Mockus, Colombia’s Green Party presidential candidate who has surged into first place in polls in recent weeks.

If Green candidate Antanas Mockus maintains his lead, he would become the first Green Party head of government ever. Since the beginning of the campaign in March, Mockus has rocketed from 9 percent to 39 percent. He currently leads Juan Manuel Santos by 12 percentage points. Neither Mockus nor Santos are positioned to win the election on the first ballot, thereby forcing a run-off vote the third week of June.

Read the full article, including details about Mockus’ record as mayor of Bogota and Partido Verde campaign tactics, at The Media Co-Op.

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Colombian Green Presidential candidate polls well

In an article published at Business Week, it is revealed that the Colombian Green Party Presidential nominee Antanas Mockus has closed the gap between his campaign and that of Juan Manuel Santos, the nominee of the Social Party of National Unity. Polling in April showed Santos with 37% support and Mockus with 22%. Since then Mockus has seen his numbers rise to 29% while Santos has dropped to 36%. The first round of voting takes place on May 30th. H/T to Green Party Fan.

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High-profile Green presidential campaign in Colombia

After surpassing expectations in recent congressional elections, Colombia’s Green Party has a high-profile candidate for president in Antanas Mockus, a popular former mayor of Colombian capital Bogotá. Recent polls placed Mockus third in a crowded field of candidates – Mockus polled at 9%, while the second-place candidate was at 17%. Since then, independent candidate Sergio Fajardo – who earned 4% in the same poll – has joined Mockus as his vice-presidential running mate. Both are popular former mayors known for their commitment to ending corruption. Mockus and Fajardo are the most popular candidates on facebook and twitter, which could be taken as a sign of their popularity with young Colombians.

If the Green Party’s Mockus-Fajardo ticket places in the top two vote-getters in Colombia’s May presidential election, the Greens could advance to a head-to-head runoff, likely against the right-wing ally of President Uribe who currently leads in the polls.

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Green Party of Colombia gains seats in congressional elections

Posted by Carlos Julia at GreenChange.org:

Last Sunday (March 14th, 2010) congressional elections were held here in Colombia. They had an interesting outcome: the rise of the Colombian Green Party as a significant political force.

The Colombian congress has 268 seats; 100 seats for the senate and 168 seats for the equivalent of the house of representatives. As far as I know, the Colombian green party only had one senate seat and no seats at all in the house. But that is going to change next July, because after the elections our number of seats in the senate went from 1 to 4 and in the house from 0 to 2… which is still low when compared to the big parties, but things are getting better. Thanks to our performance, we attracted a lot of media attention, which is going to be decisive when presidential elections come.

We also chose our presidential candidate Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá who successfully decreased the homicide rate in the city to 18 murders per 100.000 inhabitants. We hope he reaches the presidency, or at least gets enough votes to show the country and the world that we are a new option for the people concerned about the environment, education and corruption.