Colombia’s Glass Ceiling Is Cracking

The country will have its first female VP of African descendence, but the two women couldn’t be more different.

Taru Anniina Liikanen


Photo by Dawin Rizzo on Unsplash

A little while ago, I wrote a story about Colombia’s possible political shift from ultra-conservative to progressive in the election held this Sunday, May 29th.

The results are in, and progressive candidate Gustavo Petro will face not the ruling Uribismo’s candidate Federico Gutiérrez, but conservative surprise Rodolfo Hernández, who’s become famous for his social media use and has been compared to Trump for his views and antics.

I didn’t even mention Hernández in my story because he gained support very recently before the election, and because he just seemed like such an oddball. He doesn’t do public speeches or participate in debates because whenever he opens his mouth, he does something either really bad or really ignorant, like say he admires Hitler or show he doesn’t know his country at all.

I really should have remembered what happens with ignorant, oddball old conservatives with a social media presence who admire dictators. Gahhh.

While Hernández has seen an impressive rise and all of Uribismo is already aligned behind his candidacy, Petro’s still has a chance of winning, albeit with a slimming margin.

But one thing is for certain: the country will have its first woman of African descendence as Vice President, either Petro’s running mate Francia Márquez, or Hernández’s pick Marelen Castillo.

Equality Still Has a Long Way to Go

While many South American nations from Chile and Argentina to Honduras have seen female presidents, there’s still plenty of work to be done in terms of equality.

Governments are overwhelmingly staffed with men, and for a woman to reach high office is still a big deal. Colombia’s current Veep Marta Lucía Ramírez is the first woman to hold the position. But the…



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Stand-up comedian and recovering political ghostwriter. Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Bad jokes frequent.