Carlos Fernando Galán Pachón: The New Mayor of Bogotá Continuing His Father’s Legacy

2023-10-30 17:30:00

With a conciliatory bet and a campaign in which he opted to return security to Bogotá, Carlos Fernando Galán Pachón, youngest son of the political leader Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento, murdered by the mafia in 1989, was elected this Sunday mayor of the capital of Colombia . The third time was the charm for former Senator Galán, who sought the Mayor’s Office in 2011 with the Cambio Radical party and came in fourth place, and as an independent in 2019 when he was second, behind the current mayor, Claudia López.

This time he achieved it for the New Liberalism, a party founded by his father, in an election in which, with 94.98% of the tables counted, he obtained 1,418,519 votes (48.96%) defeating the independent Juan Daniel Oviedo (20.17%) and Gustavo Bolívar, from the ruling coalition Historic Pact (18.71%) and member of the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro.

LOOK: Results of regional elections in Colombia 2023 LIVE: Last hour of vote counting

Today’s result avoided a second round in Bogotá, the only Colombian city where this instance exists, because Galán obtained more than 40% of the votes and an advantage of ten percentage points over the second, as established by law.

Carlos Fernando Galán, accompanied by his family, votes in the local and regional elections in Colombia. (EFE/ Natalia Pedraza Bravo).

With his election, Galán Pachón, born on June 4, 1977 in Bogotá, continues with a political exercise that runs in the family and has his father as a reference.

Galán will take office on January 1 with the political banners of his father, who denounced the infiltration and growing power of drug trafficking mafias in society and politics and was shot dead on August 18, 1989 during a rally in Soacha, municipality bordering Bogotá.

The liberal politician was then the favorite to win the 1990 presidential elections, whose campaign was the bloodiest the country had ever experienced.

From Bogotá to France

The elected mayor studied primary school in Bogotá but the murder of his father forced his mother, journalist Gloria Pachón, to move with her children to France when he was 12 years old and there he attended high school in a public school.

The candidate for mayor of Bogotá for the New Liberalism, Carlos Fernando Galán, campaigns through the streets. (EFE/ Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda).

He studied Foreign Service with an emphasis in International Economics at Georgetown University, in Washington; Government, Management and Public Affairs at the Universidad Externado de Colombia (Bogotá) and a postgraduate degree in International Affairs at Columbia University (New York), as well as a master’s degree in Public Administration at New York University.

Like his parents, who went through journalism, Galán Pachón was a correspondent for Semana magazine in Washington, editor of Cambio magazine and political editor of El Tiempo.

Beginnings in politics

Familiar with politics since he was a child, he was elected councilor of Bogotá in 2008 by the right-wing party Cambio Radical and in that corporation he was one of the opponents of the then mayor Samuel Moreno Rojas, dismissed and convicted for a corruption scandal in the bidding for works. public.

Later, in 2012, he was appointed by then-president Juan Manuel Santos as Secretary of Transparency, a position in which he coordinated the implementation of the anti-corruption and transparency policy.

In 2015 he resigned from the direction of Cambio Radical due to differences with other directors over the endorsements given to candidates for mayor and governor, some of whom were later imprisoned.

The candidate for Mayor of Bogotá Carlos Fernando Galán votes in local and regional elections in Colombia. (EFE/ Natalia Pedraza Bravo).

As a senator, between 2014 and 2018 he worked on initiatives to improve urban problems, land use, territorial planning and the implications of the climate crisis.

Galán, who in each campaign for the Mayor of Bogotá wore his inevitable red jacket, is married to Carolina Deik with whom he has two children: Julieta, ten years old, and Pablo, four years old.

He defines himself as a calm man, but he gets excited when they mess with his family or his father’s legacy, and he states that, at least for now, he has no interest “in going beyond the Mayor’s Office” where he seeks to be himself. , because he considers that his father was “an exceptional leader” and that is why he would not dare to compare himself with him.

As of January 1, 2024, Galán Sarmiento will settle in the Liévano Palace, headquarters of the Mayor’s Office, where he will be accompanied by former ministers of former presidents Santos, Álvaro Uribe, Iván Duque and even the current Administration of Gustavo Petro, a sample of his ability to work with everyone to improve the situation of the people “which is the main thing.”

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