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.

Subscribe to Axios Latino and get more news that matters about Latinos and Latin America, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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

Go deeper