Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who is Antanas Mockus, the next Colombian president?

Antanas Mockus when he was mayor of Bogota, dressed as Supercitizen

The entire South American continent is firmly left leaning.  One of the few exceptions recently has been Colombia.  Well, come this Sunday*, a very eccentric man, a Green no less, may become president.  This will be interesting.  Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela will lessen, but will Mockus and Chavez become pals?  Will an emphasis on human services (education, health care) mean neglect of internal security issues?  Will Mockus clamp down on the right wing paramilitary and actually speak with FARC and its allies?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, here is a run down of Antanas Mockus (for your Memorial Day weekend BBQ chatter):

  • son of Lithuanian immigrants,
  • promises to divert 15% of national oil revenue to education (he was a professor/researcher),
  • once mooned his students to get them to shut up,
  • launched a "Night for Women" and asked men to stay home and take of the kids-- more than 700,000 women went out to open air concerts,
  • while serving as Bogota's mayor, the murder rate fell by three-fourths, water usage dropped by 40%,
  • diagnosed last month with Parkinson's,
  • sports stylish Amish beard.
!Viva el verde!

*No one will probably get a majority on Sunday, although Mockus is expected to win the run-off.


Alan said...

fascinating. I pray to see Latin America rise up in my lifetime.

Love your mix of international politics, travel, food and best of all - cars.

kashgar216 said...

Thanks, man. That means a lot. Seriously.

John L said...

Fingers crossed for Colombia's sake. As long as American interests don't have him assasinated.

kashgar216 said...

John L: I think America's War On Drugs is probably #564 on Obama's priority list. He'll leave Mockus alone.

John L said...

Hope so.