Latin America

Endorsements tilt race against Petro ahead of Colombia’s runoff

Populist Rodolfo Hernández earned a spot in the runoff presidential vote with an anti-system message. He is quickly forming a broad coalition to beat the left on June 19

summit petro colombia Rodolfo Hernández ran on an anti-establishment platform. But now the establishment wants to join forces with him. Photo: Daniel Andres Garzon/Shutterstock
Rodolfo Hernández ran on an anti-establishment platform in the first round. But now the establishment wants to join forces with him. Photo: Daniel Andres Garzon/Shutterstock

Colombia’s election proved yet again how hard it is to be the ruling party in today’s Latin America. Especially if you are perceived as part of a long-established clique struggling to connect with ordinary citizens’ real lives and problems. Two outsiders, Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández, took first and second place to secure their spot in a head-to-head runoff three weeks from now, on June 19. 

Mr. Petro, a former guerrilla leader running on a platform of economic re-distribution, green reform, and feminism, got 40.3 percent of the national vote.

But it was his rival, Rodolfo Hernández, a populist...

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