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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bucaramanga resigns: “The dream of a president from Santander is over”

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Supporters of Rodolfo Hernández react to the defeat of their candidate in the elections in Bucaramanga on Sunday June 19th.CELLO-CAMACHO

That Rodolfistas there are, and most of them are in Santander, the land of Rodolfo Hernández. 74% of the residents of this region in northeastern Colombia voted for the former mayor of Bucaramanga, hoping that for the second time in its history a compatriot would become head of state. But his votes were not enough and the millionaire engineer, known in Germany for his construction company HG, could not realize the dream of thousands who supported him in the elections. His followers have already felt it. Perhaps for this reason, unlike last May 29, when the candidate and leader of the Anti-Corruption Governors League movement surprisingly made it through to the second round and the streets of Bucaramanga were packed Rodolfistas Even before they knew the result, they looked resigned very early this time.

Carlos Bonilla waited with some hope for the voting results in front of Hernández’s headquarters, but after the fourth bulletin from the registry office, which was broadcast on a giant screen installed in the street, he accepted defeat. “The dream of having a president from Santander was gone,” he said with a group of women who, despite already knowing their candidate had lost, danced to the rhythm of “La guaracha del engineer,” a campaign song .

Bonilla wanted Hernández, 77, to be president because he believes Santander has been forgotten by all governments and thought that perhaps having one from his region would catch the eye here, an area that doesn’t get as much attention in the national debate is spoken. . “We are a country of workers, of people berracaWe just need a little push to be more and with a businessman like the engineer Rodolfo we had that opportunity,” he explained calmly. His vote was not against Gustavo Petro. “I hope he has good government, if the majority voted for him it will be because he deserves it,” he accepted in a gentle tone, without fear, nothing like what one attributes to Santandereans.

A supporter of Rodolfo Hernández waits for the election results in Bucaramanga on June 19, 2022.
A supporter of Rodolfo Hernández waits for the election results in Bucaramanga on June 19, 2022.CELLO-CAMACHO

Sunday’s session was also a sign that the violence in the forms of Hernández, justified during the election campaign as a reflection of the culture of this region, does not correspond to reality. The Bumanguesen accepted their candidate’s defeat without making a fuss. There were no riots, the presence of the police was scarce because it was not necessary and even the petrists, gathered in the headquarters of the left leader, could celebrate in peace. There was music, dancing and fireworks.

Marcela Herrera, 26, was one of the young women disappointed with the overall result but proud that Rodolfo Hernández had won in her region. “I won’t deny it’s sad, but we’re peaceful. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen here with that result,” he said amidst a group of friends, all the same young, who were planning to grab some hamburgers after learning they’d lost.

Hernández didn’t win Colombia’s presidency, but he established himself as Santander’s new electoral chief in a historic vote. He won in almost the entire department: in 85 of the 87 communes of the entire territory. Despite the moles of his tenure as mayor of Bucaramanga – a corruption case that puts him close to trial, his insults to subordinates or the famous slap in the face of a council member – Rodolfo Hernández is a Santandereer character appreciated by the majority. Never before, as reported by the local newspaper Vanguardiaa presidential candidate had as many votes here as on this Sunday.

Jairo Correa, a volunteer for Hernández’s Bucaramanga campaign, was one of those who preferred to stay at home and watch the results from there. The last few weeks hadn’t gone very well for the engineer and his supporters knew it. The filtration of a Video in which the candidate was seen dancing between young women on a yacht in Miami and his refusal to participate in any debate with Petro lowered the mood of the Rodolfistasalthough some, like Correa, now say it was a dirty campaign.

“Stubbornly that the dirty campaign eventually ended with a campaign like that of the engineer that was really connected to the majority. Instead of gossip and malice, they have made people prefer to vote for a person who has shown that they have nothing to do with ethics,” says Correa, who does not feel like a loser. “In addition to the overall result, there is finally a winner here. Rodolfo Hernandez, with more than 10,500,000 votes, ran a historic and successful campaign. To get that vote and move into the second round is no small feat,” he said this Monday in Bucaramanga, from where he assures he will be against. “The difference in votes was very small and for the same reason we were absolutely against it with a majority of the votes,” says the 29-year-old professor.

This time Santander was left without a president but with a politically active citizenry that managed to bring an unknown figure like Rodolfo Hernández into the national debate.

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Source elpais.com

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