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Colombia’s first lesbian mayor promises to end racism and xenophobia as she makes history by taking office

Patrick Kelleher January 2, 2020
Lesbian Columbia mayor of Bogota Claudia Lopez

Bogota's incoming Mayor Claudia Lopez (Daniel Garzon Herazo/Getty)

Colombian capital Bogotá’s first lesbian mayor has promised to eradicate racism and xenophobia in her city as she takes office.

Claudia Lopez was elected mayor of the city late last year and assumed office in a ceremony on Wednesday, January 1. The 49-year-old was inaugurated in Simon Bolivar Park at an event that was attended by hundreds of people.

“Thank you to all for accompanying me in this special moment of my life by taking me as the first woman – diverse woman – elected as mayor in the history of Bogotá,” she said, Channel News Asia reports.

She called on all citizens of Bogotá to join the fight to help banish “all racism, classism, machismo, xenophobia” from the streets.

Lesbian mayor of Bogotá Claudia Lopez wants a more ‘caring, inclusive and sustainable city’.

“Bogotá, thank you very much for trusting me with your present and your future,” she continued.

“I promise to honour that trust, and give everything of myself so that our Bogotá will be in the next four years a more caring, inclusive and sustainable city and region,” she said.

Bogotá’s new mayor later tweeted: “I promise to honour your trust and give my all to make our Bogotá a more caring, inclusive and sustainable city and region in the next four years. Welcome to the 21st century.”

I promise to honour your trust and give my all to make our Bogotá a more caring, inclusive and sustainable city and region in the next four years.

She continued: “That’s how we win, and that’s how we start, leading by example! Thanks Bogotá, a great day to start a new era.”

Lopez takes office just weeks after she married her senator girlfriend. The politician – who is a member of Colombia’s Green Alliance party – posted photos of a wedding photoshoot on Twitter which showed the couple wearing white pantsuits.

Lopez takes office just weeks after she got married.

“I love you, my divine Angelica! Thank you for existing and for always loving me. I promise to honour you and love you all your life!” the lesbian mayor wrote.

“Thanks to life for this wonderful year: I graduated from with my doctorate, won the Mayor’s Office and married the love of my life!”

She later said that the couple’s outfits were designed by Ángel Yañez, and added: “Thank you all for sharing our happiness and for your good wishes! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!”

López is a former journalist and is well-known in Colombia for her outspoken stance against right-wing politicians and her campaigning for better policies around climate change.

She has also had significant involvement in anti-corruption efforts in Colombia, and Arlene Tickner, political science professor at Rosario University, told Al Jazeera that Lopez’s election is “historic”.

She added: “Her long-standing fight against corruption will hopefully create a battle cry that other like-minded elected officials throughout Colombia can join.”

More: Bogota, claudia lopez, Columbia, lesbian, mayor

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