Among the mayors elected last Sunday in Colombia, a few have garnered significant media attention. One of them is Mikhail Krasnov, who will be inaugurated as the mayor of Tunja, located in the Boyaca department.
His victory, with 31.53% of the votes, was a surprise, as he was not considered a favorite in the polls. However, Krasnov defeated John Ernesto Carrero by over 9,000 votes, even though Carrero was seen as the surefire candidate for mayor with the endorsement of the Green Alliance party.
Krasnov is a Russian citizen who has been living in Colombia for 15 years, arriving as a student. He is currently a university professor and ran his campaign without the support of major political parties. In fact, according to the newly elected mayor, the campaign was financed through “the sale of tamales.“
Since the news broke, a series of memes have circulated on the internet, often alluding to the politician’s Russian origin.
The Russian Professor in Boyaca
Since his arrival in Colombia 15 years ago, Mikhail Krasnov has been residing in Tunja. He holds a master’s degree in sociology, economics, and international relations. In Tunja, he works as a professor at the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia.
The mayor-elect states that he aims to boost the private sector and has already called on local entrepreneurs, assuring them of his administration’s support. He is looking to establish businesses that are ecologically sustainable and can help drive economic development in the primarily rural department.
“The foremost challenge is to attract investors and establish companies, particularly given Tunja’s promising prospects for investment. I seize this opportunity and want to appeal to national entrepreneurs. The mayor who understands economics, speaks the language of business, wants to develop the region, and will not demand bribes is here. From the Mayor’s Office, we will provide all types of support for entrepreneurs,” said Krasnov shortly after learning about his victory.
The “Russian Mayor” Memes
Shortly after the news of his victory, memes flooded social media. Krasnov mentioned that they do not bother him, although he admits he hasn’t seen them all, as he has had little free time since winning the mayoralty.
Interestingly, his campaign’s Twitter account, created for his candidacy promotion, is aptly named @ElRusoAlcalde (The Russian Mayor). He claims to have achieved victory through an electoral campaign that cost less than one month’s worth of an average mayor’s salary.