Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine to begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

Americas

Voices of Colombians living abroad

©

Text by Maria Camila Perez

Latest update : 2010-05-30

Colombians go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president, and abstention levels, which have been more than 50% in the past, are expected to fall within the country and particularly at polling stations abroad. FRANCE24 talked to expat voters.

This Sunday 30 million Colombians are expected to go to the polls to choose a successor to outgoing president Alvaro Uribe. Uribe cannot stand for election himself because the Colombian constitution limits presidential terms to two.

Authorities expect a bigger voter turnout than in previous years, both within the country and at polling stations at consular offices worldwide. To serve the over four million Colombian expats, the government has opened 196 polling stations in 56 countries. FRANCE24 asked expatriate Colombian voters why casting their ballot is so important.

Alejandro Estevez, 35, is an economist in New York

Alejandro Estevez, 34, is an economist living in New York:  “We are choosing between two economic models: having higher taxes – Colombia currently has the lowest taxes in South America - to invest in science and technology, social welfare and education, or lowering the rates to generate foreign investment. To have economic growth, the country needs stability and national security.”

 

 

 

 

Ana Maria Mendoza, 29, is a lawyer living in Paris

Ana Maria Mendoza, 29, is a lawyer living in Paris: “It's the first time I've voted since coming to France ten years ago. In the past it was known that Uribe was going to win the elections. This time we have the possibility of change. National security is no longer our main concern, our priorities are human issues, education and democracy.

“We need to get rid of the image we have of being of a military country, and we need to stop fighting with our neighbours. My family lives in Cucuta, a city on the border with Venezuela. The continuing fight with Hugo Chavez has brought lots of problems to the city. It has affected our neighboring country, and our commercial relations with them. Many people have lost their jobs, both countries' economies are suffering. We also need a new strategy with the US - it is true that they are our allies, but that doesn’t mean we are their employees.”

 

Martin Fernandez, 60, is a teacher in the US: “These elections are important because we now have a green party who would protect the country’s natural resources. Globalization has brought many good things to the economy of the country, but has also destroyed our resources, and we need a government that thinks about the consequences of destroying the environment.”
 

Andrea Penuela, 29, is Business manager living in Santiago de Chile

Andrea Penuela, 29, is a business manager living in Santiago de Chile: “We are choosing between traditional parties and new independent movements who are finding their way in the political scene.”

  

 

 

 

 

 

Anonymous voter, 37, living in Berlin: “For me the future of Colombia is at stake: we have the power to choose a suitable leader who can take advantage of the strengths of our country, both nationally and internationally, and who will improve the living conditions of its citizens. The next president faces the difficult task of strengthening the achievements of the outgoing government (leaving with high popularity rates) but also the challenge of satisfying those who want change after eight years of the same government.

“These elections are important and different from the 2002 elections where the winner was a forgone conclusion. In these elections we are measuring different forces (not just the traditional ones), there is no certainty about who will be the new president. Also there is great interest from the public, especially young people”

 

Andrea Florez, 30, is a psychologist living in New York

Andrea Florez, 30, is a psychologist living in New York: “In this election the stakes are high: relations with neighboring countries, national security and social welfare. The question is whether we risk national security for social welfare.”

 

 

Date created : 2010-05-30

  • COLOMBIA

    Colombians vote in tight presidential contest

    Read more

  • COLOMBIA

    Who will Colombians vote for and why?

    Read more

  • COLOMBIA

    Regional relations hang in the balance ahead of presidential vote

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)