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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 06:33 PM

1. As a reminder of how voting went during Alvaro Uribe's reign:

COLOMBIA: "Mark Him on the Ballot – The One Wearing Glasses"
By Constanza Vieira

BOGOTA, May 8 2008 (IPS) - "With Uribe, we thought: this is the guy who is going to change the country," the 41-year-old fisherwoman told IPS.That is why her fishing and farming village of 800 people in the central Colombian region of Magdalena Medio decided overwhelmingly to vote for current President Álvaro Uribe in the 2002 presidential elections, when he first ran. The woman agreed to talk to IPS on the condition that she be asked neither her name (we will call her "L." nor the name of her village.

The main city in the fertile region of Magdalena Medio is Barrancabermeja, an oil port on the Magdalena River, which runs across Colombia from south to north before emptying into the Caribbean Sea.

What convinced the villagers to vote for Uribe? "Because the region where we live is poor, very poor, it’s so difficult to find work, and when I heard him say ‘I am going to work for the poor, I am going to help them,’ I thought ‘this is a good president’."

When the rightwing president’s first four-year term came to an end in 2006, most of the villagers decided again to vote for him, reasoning that he just needed more time to reduce poverty. The odd thing was that in both the 2002 and 2006 elections, despite the fact that the villagers had already decided to vote for Uribe, the far-right paramilitaries, who had committed a number of murders since 1998, when they appeared in the region that was previously dominated by the leftwing guerrillas, pressured the local residents to vote for Uribe anyway.

The paramilitaries did not kill people to pressure the rest to vote for Uribe, as they did in other communities, but merely used "threats," said L.

"If you don't vote for Uribe, you know what the consequences will be," the villagers were told ominously.


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