In the Colombian city of Maicao, the surprise winner in the local elections was abstention, promoted by the former drug trafficker and disqualified candidate, Samuel Santander Lopesierra, known as Santa Lopesierra or “The Marlboro Man.” However, the elections will not be repeated because, according to electoral law, the blank vote did not surpass 50%+1 of the total votes.
It’s worth noting that the former drug trafficker is allegedly involved in the irregular financing of President Petro’s campaign in 2022. In investigations carried out by the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office against Nicolas Petro, the son of the current president, they are examining the alleged funds provided by Santa Lopesierra, some of which ended up in the presidential campaign.
Under these circumstances, Miguel Felipe Aragon, who ran for the New Liberalism party, will become the new mayor of Maicao after receiving 30% of the votes, second to the blank vote.
Santa Lopesierra’s Campaign
Santa Lopesierra’s candidacy for mayor of Maicao was disqualified by electoral authorities. He then tried to register his son, Samuel Santander Rosado, but that registration was rejected as well. Consequently, Santa Lopesierra asked his supporters to cast a blank vote in today’s election.
“With the Alternative Independent Movement (MAI), we went through all the procedures and documentation to nominate Samuel Santander Rosado. However, they rejected it, and despite filing a legal claim, we don’t have a definitive ruling. Therefore, we won’t take any risks. The only way to ensure our success is through the blank vote, and I want you to support me,” the former candidate said a few days before the end of the campaign.
Santa Lopesierra’s goal was for the blank vote to exceed 50% of the total votes, which would have led to a repeat of the elections. However, the former drug trafficker did not achieve this goal.
“We would be initiating a new battle and showing that we have the majority support in the municipality of Maicao, where we reject other candidates and only agree with Santa Lopesierra’s proposal, which has been clear to the entire population. Let’s not allow them to exclude us from a democratic contest and have every right to participate in the upcoming elections,” the former narco requested, although he ultimately failed to nullify the elections.