Colombia held their second and final round of presidential elections this past Sunday, the 14th of June. After watching their fútbol team knock off Greece the day before, Colombians had to choose between two not-so-popular candidates: the incumbent center-right Juan Manuel Santos and his challenger, the further to the right, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga. The other option was to “votar en blanco,” or vote in white, which means to vote for neither. Both candidates had plenty to say about their plan for Colombia going forward, especially the direction each would go in negotiating peace with long-standing armed groups in the country.
In the weeks leading up to the second round of the election, I did some research on the candidates – both what they said about their own plans, and what the people of Chocó had to say about them. Naturally, I found some contradictory statements.
Each of these word clouds represents an explanation of each candidate’s plan, with more frequently used words appearing larger.
Since Santos had gathered the larger number of votes in Chocó during the first round, I figured he would be the more popular candidate for the second round run-off. However I was surprised at what I discovered while talking with many of the church members, especially ones from more rural areas. While neither candidate proved appealing, most could not relate or identify with the Bogotano-from-the-oligarchy, Santos. As well, many felt as though the peace negotiations, while important, were not focused on the victims. Many wanted a change in government, a new strategy, something Zuluaga offered.
This word cloud represents how Chocoanos feel about both candidates.
On Sunday, Santos was reelected. Many in Colombia are rejoicing in the hopes that the peace negotiations will continue. For Chocó, what will this bring?