Jueves, 23 de febrero de 2017

| 2010/05/21 00:00

Strange times in Colombia

May 21--Surprise presidential front-runner Antanas Mockus once mooned his students and used mimes to enforce traffic laws. But he's not the one whose excesses concern the voters.

Strange times in Colombia

The rise of dark horse Antanas Mockus to front-runner in Colombia’s presidential race has international tongues wagging. Some see him as a Trojan horse for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Others compare him to Peru’s Alberto Fujimori, who went from outsider to dictator. And then there are those who think Colombians have gone cuckoo after so many years of internal war.

You would be forgiven for shuddering at the thought of a Green Party president who, as rector of a university, mooned his students, got married atop an elephant and, as mayor of Bogota, walked around the capital city in a spandex suit and sent about 400 mimes to enforce traffic laws. Not the kind of chap with whom Queen Elizabeth II is clamouring to have tea and scones.

And you would be forgiven for fearing Mr. Mockus’s foreign policy after he said he “admired” Mr. Chavez for submitting his rule to the ballot box (later downgrading the term to “respect”), or that he would extradite current President Alvaro Uribe should Ecuador, a Venezuelan ally, seek to try him for Colombia's incursion into Ecuadorean territory during an attack on a terrorist camp. (Mr. Mockus later apologized for not being an international law expert.)
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