The second-most influential person in Colombian politics is, for the first time, a queer woman. On Sunday, history was made in the South American country. During local and regional elections, the first since the signing of Colombia’s momentous 2016 peace deal, the people elected a woman as the mayor of Bogotá, the country’s capital.
Claudia López, a progressive who is part of the Green Alliance party, won the election with 35 percent of the vote. After the presidency, the position of mayor of Bogotá is considered the most powerful political spot in Colombia.
“Claudia López’s win in Bogotá is historical on several levels,” Arlene Tickner, political science professor at Rosario University, told Al Jazeera. “She will be the first woman and the first openly-gay politician to occupy the second most important elected office in Colombia, and her long-standing fight against corruption will hopefully create a battle cry that other like-minded elected officials throughout Colombia can join.”
Throughout her career, she has focused on anti-corruption efforts in Colombia, fighting child labor, creating education opportunities for people above the age of 45 and increasing police presence on the streets. Both López and her partner Angelica Lozano, who is a politician as well, have also advocated for LGBTQ issues.
“This is the day of the woman,” López told supporters while celebrating her victory, according to BBC. “We knew that only by uniting could we win. We did that. We united, we won and we made history!”