HAVANA TIMES – Centrist Claudia Lopez was on Sunday elected mayor of Bogota in Colombia’s first local elections since the 2016 peace deal with the guerrilla movement FARC, which have been fraught with violence, reported dpa news.
Lopez, the candidate of the Green Alliance party, beat one leftist and two conservative candidates, state-owned broadcaster Canal Uno reported. She will succeed Enrique Penalosa, a liberal.
More than 100,000 people ran for departmental governors, mayors, provincial legislators and city councilors.
The elections were the first local ones since then-president Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace deal with the leftist FARC in 2016 after 52 years of armed conflict.
The peace deal failed to stop the typical local election violence in the country where FARC dissidents, other guerrillas, paramilitary and criminal groups continue to vie for influence.
Seven candidates were killed, and dozens attacked or threatened.
The government appeared unable to stop the violence, a situation which President Ivan Duque’s critics blamed on his alleged unwillingness to fully implement the peace agreement, which he has criticized as being too lenient on the ex-rebels.
The elections were also fraught with concern that many candidates were suspected of corruption or of ties with paramilitary groups, or that they might engage in vote-buying.