Latin America

Rodolfo Hernández, Colombia’s populist surprise

The anti-corruption candidate refuses to be ideologically typecast, but he is leaning on the country’s right-wing elites to win in the final stretch

Rodolfo Hernández has become a force to reckon with thanks to his ubiquitous presence on social media. Photo: Marco Valencia/EFE via Folhapress
Rodolfo Hernández has become a force to reckon with thanks to his ubiquitous presence on social media. Photo: Marco Valencia/EFE via Folhapress

The global rise of outsider populist candidates has been a persistent challenge for analysts and reporters in recent years, and Colombia’s Rodolfo Hernández is no exception.

Mr. Hernández has been compared to Donald Trump in the U.S. and Franco Parisi in Chile, although the contemporary leaders he seems to admire the most are Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador and El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele — both of whom come from different ends of the political spectrum, only adding to the confusion.

His status as an outsider has been partially cemented by his biography, which shows him rising from a middle-class...

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