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Who Are Francia Márquez And Marelen Castillo, The Vice-presidential Candidates In Colombia?

Colombia will have for the first time in its history an Afro woman as vice president. Francia Márquez and Marelen Castillo compete to reach second place in the Andean nation

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LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Leer en español: ¿Quiénes son Francia Márquez y Marelen Castillo, las candidatas a la vicepresidencia en Colombia?

Colombia will have for the first time in its history an Afro woman as vice president. Francia Márquez and Marelen Castillo compete to reach second place in the Andean nation.

Colombia will elect its next president: leftist Gustavo Petro or construction tycoon Rodolfo Hernández . However, whatever the result, the only certainty is that Colombia will have a female vice president of Afro origin for the first time in history.

However, despite the fact that they may make history, both Francia Márquez and Marelen Castillo are new to electoral politics and still unknown to unsuspecting Colombians and foreigners. This is all the information you need to know to know the story behind what will be the next vice president of Colombia.

Marelen Castillo

Just a few months ago, she was a complete unknown to most Colombians. Marelen is a 53-year-old woman from Cali from a Catholic family in Valle del Cauca. His mother, an Afro dressmaker and his father, white, public official and retired. Currently, the vice-presidential candidate is married to Professor Wilson Sánchez, with whom she has 2 children: Wilson Andrés and María Camila.

You may also be interested in reading: Colombian Elections: Main Differences Between the Proposals of Rodolfo Hernández and Gustavo Petro

Since she was young she has been passionate about education and academic life. She studied a bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry at the university, later she studied industrial engineering and a master's degree in Business Administration and Management. Additionally, he also has a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Rodolfo Hernández's vice-presidential formula has dedicated his entire working life to Education. Since the beginning of his career he has worked in teaching and research.

Castillo was a teacher at a school in the city of Cali, later she became a university professor at the Lumen Gentium Catholic University Foundation. Later, at the same institution, she was dean and vice-rector.

Recently, the candidate for the Anti-Corruption Rulers League party worked at the Minuto de Dios University Corporation, first as a researcher, then as director of strategic initiatives and academic vice-rector. In 2011 she assumed the rectory of the virtual and distance section.

Despite the fact that she was not Rodolfo Hernández's first alternative to accompany him in the vice presidency (officially he had first offered the position to the journalist Paola Ochoa, who first accepted and then rejected due to criticism of her journalistic work), Castillo demonstrates her commitment to education that the former mayor of Bucaramanga wants to champion.

Francia Marquez

One of the most important political phenomena of the last year. A year ago, Francia Márquez was a political figure almost unknown to most Colombians. Her Goldman award gave her relevance, but her political career surprised locals and strangers.

She was born in Suárez Cauca, 40 years ago. Daughter of a midwife and farmer woman and an artisanal miner man. Since the age of 16, she has been a single mother of her first child. She is an environmental leader from Cauca and one of the most relevant voices for the care of nature in the country. From a very young age she has been involved in activism and in organizations defending rights as president of the Association of Afro-descendant Women of Yolombó.

She is a professional lawyer from the Santiago de Cali University and is currently specializing in creative writing at the ICESI University. She has served as president of the National Committee for Peace and Reconciliation and Coexistence of the National Peace Council. She has been listed as one of the 100 most influential women in the world according to the BBC.

Recently, she participated in the inter-party consultation of the Historical Pact that left Gustavo Petro as the winner and candidate for the presidency. Francia Márquez was the sensation by obtaining 785,215 votes, being the third most voted among all the consultations (only surpassed by Gustavo Petro and Federico Gutiérrez).

Márquez has been characterized by discourse and the defense of values such as feminism, progressivism, the fight against inequality, neo-colonialism, and racism.