Colombian presidential elections live: Voters choose between Petro and Hernandez

attributed to him…Natalia Angarita for The New York Instances

Rodolfo Hernandez, the development mogul turned social media star who emerged as a shock candidate within the Colombian presidential election, has been largely absent from public life in latest weeks.

He refused to attend debates and didn’t maintain any rallies, preferring the reside broadcast that his workforce collects on social media.

However on Sunday, because the polls opened, Mr. Hernandez bought off a white automobile in his hometown of Bucaramanga, surrounded by bodyguards, amid a large crowd of voters.

“Lengthy reside Rodolfo!” Supporters shouted, and lots of raced to peek on the candidate as he walked into the polling station.

Mr. Hernandez rushed via the bundle with a broad smile. His opponent, Gustavo Petro, a longtime senator and former insurgent attempting to turn out to be the nation’s first leftist president, solid his vote greater than 250 miles to the south, within the capital, Bogota.

In Bucaramanga, a medium-sized metropolis It’s the place Mr. Hernandez constructed his fortune and served as mayorHis candidacy has created political enthusiasm and deep regional pleasure among the many voters who imagine he represents them.

Carlos Gamboa, a 42-year-old businessman, was among the many group of voters ready in line when Mr. Hernandez arrived to vote.

“Most of us are with Rodolfo,” he stated, including that he would not belief Mr Petrodue partly to the candidate’s time as a member of the M-19 insurgent group.

Mr. Hernandez labored on an anti-corruption platform, regardless of being accused of corruption and accused of paying his subordinates to award a debt contract to a selected firm, a deal that may have benefited his son.

He stated he’s harmless.

On the polls in Bucaramanga, not many citizens appeared to be alarmed by the accusation.

“Nobody goes to return to energy right here clear,” stated Gilma Becerra, 58. “However Rodolfo is the least corrupt.”

In Bogotá on Sunday morning, Adriana Martinez, 24, queued exterior a highschool within the working-class neighborhood of El Sucego.

She had simply completed her night time shift as a well being division assistant and went straight to the polling station by bus.

Ms Martinez stated she supported Mr Pietro, and that the choice was notably influenced by his selection Francia Marquez for vp, who might turn out to be the primary black lady vp.

Ms. Marques is an environmental activist who has moved out of poverty to turn out to be a nationwide phenomenon, and through the marketing campaign speaks about race, class and gender in a direct method that’s not often heard on the highest ranges of Colombian politics.

“It is somebody we got here from the place we got here from, and she or he needed to struggle to get the place we’re,” stated Ms. Martinez.

Ms. Martinez stated she didn’t give a lot weight to the argument that Mr Petro’s insurance policies would result in the identical type of financial, humanitarian and democratic disaster that occurred in Venezuela.

In Colombia, “You do not have sufficient cash to purchase potatoes. On this sense, we’re already in excessive poverty.

on the identical polling station, Ingrid Forero, 31, stated she has seen a generational divide in her neighborhood, with younger individuals supporting Mr Pietro and older generations in favor of Mr Hernandez.

Her household calls her a “little insurgent” due to her assist for Mr Petro, whom she stated she prefers due to his insurance policies on training and revenue inequality.

“Younger individuals are extra inclined in direction of revolution, in direction of the left, in direction of change,” she stated.