Updated Jun 19, 2022 - World

Francia Márquez to become Colombia's first Black vice president

Francia Márquez
Francia Márquez. Photo: Fredy Builes/Getty Images

Francia Márquez is set to become Colombia's first Black vice president after she and leftist Gustavo Petro won Sunday's runoff election.

Why it matters: The country's Afro Colombian population is large but has been historically marginalized.

  • Afro Colombians “are overrepresented in the numbers of forcibly displaced people and victims of violence” from the decades-old conflict in the country, Eduardo Restrepo, an anthropologist at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, told Axios ahead of Sunday's election.

What to know: Márquez is a lawyer and longtime activist and winner of the Goldman Prize, a prestigious recognition in environmentalism.

  • Marelen Castillo, the running mate of runner-up Rodolfo Hernández, also identifies as Afro Colombian.

Background: About one in 10 Colombians identify as Black, though that number could be higher because of a suspected census undercount.

What they’re saying: The women's candidacies inspired a lot of racist and classist reactions due to "this idea inherited from colonial times that some people are meant to govern and others to be governed," Restrepo said.

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Editor's note: This story and headline have been updated with results from Sunday's election.

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