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Colombia Makes History, Elects Black Woman And Feminist As Vice President (Photo)

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Francia Marquez

Colombia has made history after electing a black woman as its Vice President.

10 per cent of the population identify as Afro-descendants in the country.

Environmental activist and feminist Francia Marquez will serve alongside Ex-guerrilla Gustavo Petro who won the country’s presidential election on Sunday.

“The great challenge that all of us Colombians have is reconciliation,” said the 40-year-old, who was the target of threats during a fractious campaign.

“The time has come to build peace, a peace that implies social justice.”

In central Bogota, thousands of Petro supporters, mostly young people, rejoiced.

“I’m celebrating because finally we’re going to have change, this shows there is hope,” academic Lusimar Asprilla, 25, told newsmen.

In the election, Petro made history too after being elected as the first-ever left-wing president of Colombia.

He defeated millionaire businessman Rodolfo Hernandez in a tense and unpredictable runoff election.

With all votes counted, Petro, the 62-year-old former mayor of Bogota, won with 50.4 per cent to Hernandez’s 47.3 percent.

“As of today, Colombia is changing, a real change that guides us to one of our aims – the politics of love, of understanding, and dialogue,” said Petro.

Hernandez, 77, in a Facebook live broadcast, accepted the result, in which he came up short by 700,000 votes.

“I hope that Mr. Gustavo Petro knows how to run the country and is faithful to his discourse against corruption,” said the construction magnate, who had made fighting graft his main campaign pledge.

Petro would succeed the deeply unpopular conservative, Ivan Duque, who was barred by Colombia’s constitution from standing for reelection, in a country saddled with widespread poverty, a surge in violence and other woes.

Speaking to delirious supporters at his party headquarters in Bogota, Petro held out an olive branch to his opponents, Petro said, “This is not a change to deepen sectarianism in Colombia. The change consists precisely of leaving hatred behind, leaving sectarianism behind.”

He added, “We want a Colombia that through its diversity is one Colombia.”