Latin America

What does change mean for Colombians?

Colombians hit the polls today in search of change. But the leading candidates offer two very different versions of that

colombian colombians "Change for life," says T-shirt of a Gustavo Petro supporter. Photo: Yhaira Rincon/Shutterstock
“Change for life,” says T-shirt of a Gustavo Petro supporter. Photo: Yhaira Rincon/Shutterstock

Colombians are set to vote for president today having accumulated a laundry list of grievances with the political class. 

The unemployment rate has remained in the double digits since before the start of the pandemic, inequality is grinding, homicide rates are up (rising 13 percent last year after declining for two decades), law enforcement has been accused of brutally repressing protesters, and roughly 40 percent of the population live in poverty.

No wonder voters are desperate for change. Outgoing President Iván Duque has an approval rating of just 20 percent. (He won’t seek re-election as Colombian presidents are limited to...

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