ColombiaOne.comColombia newsJorge Agudelo's Tight Victory Guarantees Continuity in Santa Marta

Jorge Agudelo’s Tight Victory Guarantees Continuity in Santa Marta


Jorge Agudelo will be the new mayor of the city of Santa Marta
Jorge Agudelo will be the new mayor of the city of Santa Marta. Credit: @SantaMarta/twitter

The narrow victory of Jorge Luis Agudelo in Santa Marta, Magdalena, kept citizens and electoral authorities on edge during a long night of vote counting in the capital of Magdalena. His closely contested win, with a margin of only 300 votes over the opposition candidate, Carlos Alberto Pinedo, ensures the continuity of the left in one of the few remaining strongholds of power following today’s regional elections.

It was necessary to wait for 100% of the vote count to certify the victory of the incumbent candidate, Agudelo, who replaced Patricia Caicedo as the aspirant just a few weeks ago. Caicedo’s candidacy was revoked by the electoral authorities due to incompatibility, as she is the sister of the governor of Magdalena and the leader of the political movement, Carlos Caicedo.

Last-minute changes and the short time Agudelo had to campaign have put at risk the chance for his party, Fuerza Ciudadana, to retain a mayoralty that seemed secure a few months ago.

Victory for the government coalition

Santa Marta and the department of Magdalena will continue to be one of the now limited strongholds of the political forces that support the country’s president, Gustavo Petro. The future mayor of the city will succeed Virna Johnson, who won the mayoralty in 2019 for the same party with over 63% of the votes.

In 2016, Santa Marta witnessed a political change after decades of mayoralty control by traditional family political bosses, in favor of a new left-wing party that marked a nationwide electoral shift in 2023. The Caribbean region of Colombia, traditionally very conservative, supported a party that brought a true transformation to Santa Marta’s politics. In 2019, Fuerza Ciudadana expanded its reach from the capital to the regional governorship, which was colored orange for the first time, granting regional power to Carlos Caicedo, the leader of the political organization.

Following the 2023 regional elections, both the city and the department will continue with the same political hue throughout the 2024-2027 term.

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