Continued Polo Democrático Party domination in the capital not only strengthens the left challenge in Colombia’s next presidential elections, but has also derailed the right’s intention to change the constitution to allow Uribe to run for a third term.
Despite far-right President Álvaro Uribe’s attacks, Colombia’s left opposition Polo Democrático swept the Oct. 28 elections for Bogotá’s Mayor – the second most important political position in the country.
The Polo candidate, Samuel Moreno, took 915,000 or 43.6% of the votes on a record turnout, while president Uribe’s candidate, Enrique Peñalosa, could only manage 589,000 or 28.2%, despite support from the main Uribista parties, the supposedly opposition Liberals, and Colombia’s sole national daily newspaper, El Tiempo.
Continued Polo Democrático domination in the capital not only strengthens the left challenge in Colombia’s next presidential elections, but has also derailed the right’s intention to change the constitution to allow Uribe to run for a third term.
Had Peñalosa defeated the Polo, Uribe would have considered this an endorsement of his re-election. As it is, the president is now hoping for a ‘catastrophe’, as he himself put it, that will give him an excuse to remain in office after his second term ends in 2010.
‘These elections are a slap for all those who wanted impunity to continue in Colombia, for all those who wanted poverty and inequality to continue in Bogotá,’ said Ángela, a Polo activist celebrating Moreno’s victory in the Ciudad Bolívar barrio that rises on a steep mountain at the edge of the capital.
‘It has to be recognised that the President of the Republic contributed to this victory with his scheming,’ declared Carlos Gaviria Díaz, the Polo Democrático’s national leader, ‘The president led a campaign against us that was contrary to the Constitution – he lied and attacked the Polo but his attacks had the opposite effect. Take note, Mr President, there’s nothing that can be done to stop the left taking the Presidential Palace!’
Uribe had constantly interfered in the election, claiming that the Polo had bought votes and demanding that Colombians not vote for leftist candidates ‘associated with terrorists or communists’. Although this is illegal under Colombia’s Constitution, which prohibits public officials from intervening in election campaigns, as the president has appointed his far right supporters to the Prosecutor’s office and the Supreme Court, there is little chance he will be investigated.
Lucho Garzón’s Bogotá
The rising left challenge to Colombia’s closed politics built on the Polo Democrático’s ability to organise in poor workers’ barrios and the achievements of Bogotá’s current mayor, Luis ‘Lucho’ Garzón, who first won the capital for the left in 2003. Garzón’s emphasis on the poor, workers and the displaced has reduced poverty from 38.9% to 23% in Bogotá, even while Colombia’s national poverty rate continues at almost 50 per cent.
Garzón’s ‘Bogotá sin hambre’ ‘Bogotá without hunger’ and ‘Bogotá sin indiferencia’ ‘Bogotá without indifference’ programs have helped to ensure that poor workers and the displaced have a chance to escape the desperate poverty that forces literally millions in Colombia to try to survive on less than 8,000 pesos, or 4 US dollars, a day.
These programs have established 281 community kitchens in the poorest barrios in the capital, and have built schools and colleges in the most marginalised zones, while subsidising medical care to prevent almost 2 million workers in Bogotá being excluded from health care by Colombia’s privatised hospitals.
As a result, the Polo Democrático increased its vote in the capital from 797,000 to 915,000, and became the largest single party on Bogotá’s asamblea, while defeating all the rightist parties in 17 of the city’s 20 zones to more than double its representation on the city’s local juntas. This success has positioned Garzón as the obvious choice to be the Polo’s candidate in the next presidential elections, although the party’s current national leader, Carlos Gaviria, has strong support amongst the activists.
Gaviria, a former Constitutional Court justice and Senator, was the Polo’s presidential candidate in the 2006 elections, when the left took more than 2.5 million votes and eclipsed the traditional Liberals to become Colombia’s second political force after the rightist Uribista coalition.
Gaviria is considered more radical than Garzón, and has the support of Colombia’s influential Communists, but workers organised in the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores union confederation lean towards former union president Garzón. Some Polo Congressional representatives also suggest that Garzón’s record in the capital makes him the best choice to overcome Colombians’ traditional cynicism and distrust and prove that it is possible to end poverty and inequity.
As the Polo Democrático has a strong democratic tradition – more than 500,000 activists voted in the internal elections to choose delegates to the party’s first Congress last year – the presidential candidate will be discussed in caucuses and chosen in primaries in 2009, or just before the actual presidential election the following year.
50 dollars a vote
Whoever the candidate is, Colombia’s local elections have shown that the Polo still has work to do. Despite the left’s success in Bogotá, the picture is more complicated in other parts of Colombia. Although the Polo doubled its national vote to elect local representatives across the country, it had to support independent candidates in Medellín, Cali and Cartagena to ensure rightist parties and corrupt caudillos were defeated in the big cities.
The elections proved that the far right paramilitaries, clientilism and the caudillos still have a strong hold on Colombia’s politics, although the violence that saw 30 candidates assassinated had more to do with rightist factions settling scores amongst each other than an organised campaign against the left.
Some local caudillo bosses were defeated by independent candidates on the Caribbean coast, most notably in César state where Cristian Moreno won supported by the Polo Democrático. Moreno had stood down as a candidate in the 2003 elections after receiving death threats, but the Uribista candidate who then ‘won’ that election unopposed is now in jail for his ties to the paramilitaries.
However, other corrupt political bosses maintained their control through traditional patronage and bought votes. In Chocó on the Pacific coast, where the poverty rate is an incredible 80 per cent, a vote cost 100,000 pesos, or about 50 dollars, according to election observer Victor Raúl Mosquera. Some voters ‘received wood, zinc sheets or paint,’ he reported, ‘and all the parties except the Polo did this.’
Rightist paramilitary front parties and other parties in the president’s Uribista coalition continue to control several states, but even after the election results there were scores of instances of these parties’ supporters fighting each other, and even setting fire to candidates’ campaign buildings where it was perceived that one candidate had bought more votes than another.
This indiscipline has raised concerns amongst Colombia’s elite about the right’s ability to unite their disparate parties to challenge the Polo Democrático. Although the scattered rightist parties seem to have more support on paper if their votes and political positions are added together, Colombia’s tradition of personalist caudillos and proud, arrogant bosses might be too strong for the right to overcome in order to present a united candidate in the next presidential elections.
For this reason, there is much speculation in the rightist press to encourage Uribe to run for a third term. To do this, the Constitution would have to be changed again – it was already rewritten in 2005 to allow Uribe to run for reelection the first time – and although the Supreme Court has a rightist majority, the conservative Colombian elite are cautious about more changes to what they consider to be the country’s ‘institutional stability’. As such, a ‘second reelection’ may be a step too far for these traditionalists to make more changes to their Constitution, even for Uribe.
To counter this, one of the main Uribista parties intends to present to the right dominated Congress a proposal to put the Constitutional change to a referendum, calculating that a national vote, with limited turnout and opportunities for buying support and intimidating opposition, will allow them to circumvent the Supreme Court.
But some traditionalists are drawing unfavourable comparisons with Venezuelan President Chávez, and among others there is the concern that further revelations in the parapolítica scandal will at some point debilitate Uribe, contribute to the left’s advance, and culminate in a defeat for the right in the Congressional elections due to be held just 8 weeks before the next presidential elections.
Colombia’s business and financial elite, already nervous about losing the American free trade agreement, are concerned about the impression Uribe’s intemperance and arrogance is having in the US. Regardless of their political affinity with Uribe, their commercial interests come first, and comments in the financial press indicate this elite would prefer to support a fresh rightist candidate against the left in the next elections.
There is no guarantee that the right will agree on one, however. Uribistas are scattered amongst at least 6 political parties, with no particular reason for their separation other than the egos of the party leaders. None of these parties have clear, principled policies other than to support the president, and it is obvious that without this ‘Pole Star’ these parties would have nothing more than a support either based on personalist patronage or on votes that are bought, or gained through intimidation.
Without the president standing as a candidate, there are certain to be many opportunistic short term coalitions amongst the right, alliances based on personalities, and much disagreement and little coherence. In addition, none of these parties have the organisation and activists to sustain a committed and disciplined campaign or organised party for more than a short time.
In the recent local elections, it was common to see people paid by these parties to distribute leaflets and even attend meetings, while the Polo Democrático could count on a massive activists’ base – some 500,000 members – whose work on the campaign did not need to be paid for, but was instead voluntary, committed and engaged.
Tumultuous scenes and thousands of supporters greeted Polo candidates in the barrios, and some 25,000 attended the party’s closing rally in Bogotá, while the Uribista parties were reduced to paying people to give out leaflets at stoplights, and instead of taking to the streets or talking to Colombians, relied on press conferences and endorsements from columnists in newspapers and magazines that most people are too poor to even buy.
For this reason, bought votes became one of the main themes in the elections, and the successes the right had often came in states where politics continue to be controlled through a caudillo or political boss.
Traditional parties’ relevance questioned
The polarisation in the elections between left and right has also disorientated Colombia’s historic traditional parties, continuing the crisis about their relevance that Uribe precipitated when, although a Liberal, he became president in 2002 as an independent supported by the Conservatives.
In these elections, the Conservatives, now tired of being coopted and marginalised by the far right, split from the Uribistas and ran a separate candidate in Bogotá, and have declared their intention to run their own candidate in the presidential elections, whether Uribe stands again or not.
The Liberals are split. The party that has given Colombia six of its last eight presidents lost half its representation throughout the country in the elections, and didn’t even stand a candidate in the capital, Bogotá, where their official position was to support the Uribistas, even though most party members actively campaigned for the Polo Democrático.
‘These elections dramatically demonstrated the terminal crisis of the traditional two party system that for a century and a half has dominated our politics,’ wrote Álvaro Vásquez in the Partido Comunista Colombiano newspaper, Voz. ‘In Bogotá, the Conservative candidate couldn’t even achieve one per cent of the vote, and the Liberals supported the Uribista, Peñalosa, showing that these old parties no longer have a place in Colombia.’
The Liberal’s opportunism and schizophrenia, (a celebrated victory was a Liberal win over a notorious caudillo boss in Atlantico state on the Caribbean coast, while in states where the resurgent paramilitaries dominate, the caudillo bosses often are the Liberals), suggest the party, desperate to regain power after three successive presidential election defeats, is likely to support whoever it perceives as having the strongest chance to take the presidency next time, whether the Polo or the right.
The Liberals could still be important in this respect, because although the Polo’s strength as a united, coherent and independent party is feared – even the rightist press were impressed how the Polo took Bogotá with almost a million votes without making alliances, while Peñalosa lost despite the support of the two strongest Uribista parties and the Liberals – in much of Colombia it may prove difficult to break the traditional caudillo bosses hold over some states in the time before the next elections.
Towards the presidential elections
This has led some in the Polo to suggest that an alliance with the more progressive and principled Liberal activists in these states might be necessary, and cite the fact that there is still a residue of traditional support, especially from workers, for the Liberals – Colombia’s most progressive president, Alfonso López Pumarejo, who governed in the Thirties and Forties and is often compared to US President Franklin Roosevelt, and also Colombia’s most radical leftist, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, who had to be assassinated in 1948 to stop him becoming president and taking Colombia to the left for the first time, were in the Liberal Party and are still remembered and celebrated.
Across Colombia, the Liberals still took more votes than the Polo in these elections, (although in the 2006 presidential elections the Polo had eclipsed the Liberals), demonstrating that the traditional party still has an organisation in states where the Polo has little presence, further encouraging some on the left to believe an alliance is necessary.
Others in the Polo believe its strength is precisely in the fact that the left is not associated with the traditional clientilist patronage that the Liberals still represent. Although the only alliance with another party in these elections was with the Liberals in Santander state, where the Polo supported perennial presidential candidate and proven Uribe critic, Horacio Serpa, to victory over a rightist paramilitary front party candidate, some Polo members question why the Liberals should receive any support at all, especially when their leaders campaigned against the Polo in Bogotá.
Instead, cited as an inspiration is President Chávez’s success in Venezuela, where he has mobilised unorganised workers and the poor in the barrios who had never voted or even supported a political party before, instead of trying to win over those who are already involved in politics.
In Colombia this constituency is huge – more than 50 per cent never vote in elections, millions are displaced and most workers are unorganised. Instead of attempting to win over those supporting the traditional parties or caudillo bosses, the Polo should organise in the barrios and among these workers, and organise vote registration campaigns to involve the displaced and the poorest.
That the left has already had some success pursuing this strategy was evidenced by opinion polls that disastrously underestimated the Polo’s support, due to the indifference the press had in the poor or the desterrados displaced in the barrios where Polo activists had been campaigning and organising. Right to the end of the election campaign in Bogotá, some polls undercut the Polo’s vote by more than ten points, underestimating the party’s actual vote by about 250,000.
The elections have given further indications that Colombians are perhaps not as conservative as thought. Chávista revolutionary parties, such as the Corriente Bolivariana and Movimiento Bolivariano de Colombia, took almost 12,000 votes in 6 states – enough, according to political analysts, to elect a Chávista representative to Congress should that figure be repeated in the congressional elections.
The Partido Comunista Colombiano, standing candidates as part of the Polo Democrático, won more than 20 positions throughout the country, including local mayors, state asamblea representatives and consejo positions on Bogotá’s asamblea. The Polo has even organised chapters among Colombian immigrants in the United States, Spain and Venezuela, registering migrant workers to vote and making sure the Polo’s message is brought back into these workers’ home communities.
The Polo has proved that Colombians have a strong identification with the party – in the elections, its supporters didn’t spilt their vote, voting the party list all down the ballot, and even the elite press constantly counter poses the left coalition’s organisation to the Uribista coalition’s ‘indiscipline.’
Columnists and political commentators take it as obvious that in the next elections it will be the Polo’s presidential candidate that the right will have to beat, and although there is much work still to be done, the Polo’s continuing election successes, and its ability to organise the other Colombia – the poor, workers and the displaced – show that Colombia has a strong chance to leave its isolation and soon join the rest of Latin America on the left.
The Word in the Party: Polo Democrático supporters in the days after the results:
These elections are a slap for all those who wanted impunity to continue in Colombia, for all those who wanted poverty and inequality to continue, for all those who continue threatening us with the shadow of death.
Estas elecciones son una bofetada para todos aquellos que quieren que la impunidad se mantenga en Colombia, para todos aquellos que quieren que sigamos en la pobreza y desigualidad, para todos aquellos que continuen siendo manejados por la sombra de la muerte.
-Ángela, Ciudad Bolívar, Bogotá
A victory so sweeping, that without doubt is the first down payment for the presidential elections organise the masses to give the coup de grâce with Lucho Garzón’s presidency!
Un triunfo tan arrollador, que sin duda es la cuota inicial para las presidenciales ¡de sembrar las bases para dar el golpe final con la presidencia de Lucho Garzón!
-Eder Gutierrez, Barrio La Candelaría, Bogotá
We will continue like this, now for the presidency, and I don’t care if Lucho Garzón or Carlos Gaviria is the candidate – the aim is to take the presidential palace.
Continuemos así, ahora por la presidencia, no interesa que sea Lucho Garzón o Carlos Gaviria, la idea es llegar al palacio presidencial.
-Álvaro Cañon, Bogotá
It was hard fought, heartbreaking we feel that they attacked each of us personally when they lied and slandered the Polo, but we won!
Fue luchada, dolorosa, desgarradora, sentimos que nos atacaban a nosotros mismo cuando se calumniaba e injuriaba al Polo Democrático, pero ¡ganamos!
-César Patiño, Barrio San Victorino, Bogotá
These elections dramatically demonstrate the terminal crisis of the traditional two party system that for a century and a half has dominated our politics. In Bogotá, the Conservative candidate couldn’t even achieve one per cent of the vote, and the Liberals supported the Uribista, Peñalosa. This shows that the old traditional parties don’t have a place in Colombia and the experience has given a hard knock to the prophecies of the analysts in the press, who continued predicting disaster for the Polo.
Estas elecciones muestran dramáticamente la crisis terminal del bipartidismo tradicional, el cual durante siglo y medio copó el escenario de nuestra política. En Bogotá, el candidato conservador no llega al uno por ciento de voto, y los liberals apoyan a los uribista Peñalosa. Esto demuestra que las viejas formaciones tradicionales no tienen espacio en la vida colombiana y la experiencia ha dado un duro golpe a las profecías de los analistas de la prensa, que se mantienen previendo la dispersión y el desastre del Polo.
-Álvaro Vásquez, Partido Comunista Colombiano, Bogotá
A victory of serenity over arrogance and a president that dismissed all logical principle in reason and politics.
Una triunfado de la serenidad sobre la soberbia y un presidente que descoce todo principio lógico en la razón y la política.
-José Hernández, Cartagena
This is the continuation of the democratic path that Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have taken the country is polarized between the Uribistas and the real opposition that is the Polo this means that we have to begin bringing the factions in the party together in order to arrive at the presidency.
Es el de continuar el camino democrático de Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador Se polariza el país entre los uribistas y la oposición real que somos el Polo esto significa que tenemos que iniciar la consolidación del partido a través de sus tendencias para llegar al gobierno.
-Gilberto Ospina, Medellín
With our votes the people of Bogotá defeated the dirty scheming of the president soon, the presidency will be ours!
Los bogotanos con nuestros votos derrotamos la suciedad y mezquindad del presidente de pronto, ¡la presidencia es nuestra!
-Nelsi Pérez, Bogotá
It has to be recognised that the President of the Republic contributed to this victory with his scheming and his mistakes. The president led a campaign against the Polo Democrático that was not only contrary to the Constitution, but against all norms and decency. They created a war of improprieties, of lies, of attacks against the Polo in an attempt to deny us victory, but it wasn’t possible. He wanted to bring his prestige to this campaign, but it had the opposite effect. In this moment the Polo Democrático has obtained a sweeping victory and the President of the Republic has been comprehensively defeated. Take note, Mr President, there’s nothing that can be done to stop the forces of the Polo. The Polo is confirmed today as an unstoppable force for the presidency in 2010.
Hay que reconocer que el Presidente de la República contribuyó a este triunfo con sus mezquindades y sus torpezas. El señor presidente fue a encabezar una campaña contra el Polo Democrático, no solo por fuera de la Constitución, sino por fuera de las normas y la decencia. Que fueran a emprender una guerra de improperios, de calumnies, de injuries contra el Polo, para ver si no arrebataba la victoria, pero no le fue posible. Él quiso vincular su fuerte a esta campaña y le salió al revés su propósito. En este momento el Polo Democrático ha obtenido una victoria arrolladora y el Presidente de la República ha sido tremendamente derrotado. Que tome nota el señor presidente, que ningún escenario es suficiente ya para albergar las fuerzas del Polo. Que sepa que el Polo se ha afirmado hoy en el país como una fuerza incontenible, y que en el 2010 la presidencia va a ser del Polo.
-Carlos Gaviria Díaz, Presidente del Polo Democrático
The results of the election campaign show that many Colombian citizens resist continuing to accept the right, and that we consider it necessary to increase the resistance.
Los resultados de la campaña electoral es el reflejo de que muchos ciudadanos de Colombia nos resistimos a seguir aceptando al derecho y consideramos necesario incrementar la resistencía.
– Mario Velásquez Caicedo, Macao
A strong opposition and being an observer on consejos and asambleas is an important front in the struggle, but I think the Polo should look outside Bogotá because a real alternative to take the presidency will come from working from now all across Colombia.
Una oposición firme y una veeduría de los consejos y asambleas es un frente de lucha importante, pero pienso que el Polo debe mirar más al fuera de Bogotá porque una alternativa de poder real para la presidencia pasa por el trabajo que desde ahora se haga al fuera la capital en todo Colombia.
– Dámaso Alegría, Quibdó, Chocó
We are ready for whatever will be necessary, starting now for the elections for President of the Republic. For a Bolivarian revolution in Colombia!
Estamos listos para lo que sea necesario y puesta desde ya en las elecciones a la Presidencia de la República. ¡Por una revolución Bolivariano en Colombia!
– Ati Montañez, Pereira
We are a party that is different, and we can’t allow ourselves to fall into the clientilist and corrupt practices of the other parties, and like them sell out our principles for favours.
Nosotros somos un partido diferente y no podemos caer en las prácticas polítiqueras, clientelistas y corruptos de los demás, así como tampoco vender nuestro ideario a cambios de prebendas.
– Moisés Quintero, Barrio San Cristóbal Sur, Bogotá
The Polo should consolidate unity from below, and unite the strategy of electoral participation with mobilising and organising the people.
El Polo se propone la consolidación de la unidad desde abajo y conjugar la participación electoral con el esfuerzo por la movilización y organización más cumplia del pueblo.
– Quena Ribadeneira, Communist/Polo delegate elected in Barrio Teusaquillo, Bogotá
The elections show that the Polo Democrático is a national reality but that parapolítica is a national reality too. As an international observer commented: if they pursued this dirty war to derail the election in Bogotá, what wouldn’t they do – kidnapping, disappearances or assassinations – to stop the victory of the left in a presidential campaign The traditional two party system is mortally wounded, although it still staggers on, but the Polo Democrático has a future ahead of it. The most important thing now is to act without sectarianism and without ambiguity.
Las elecciones demostraron que el Polo Democrático es una realidad nacional pero también la parapolítica es una realidad nacional. Como dijo un veedor internacional: si adelantaron esta guerra sucia para impedir la elección en Bogotá, qué no pueden hacer – secuestrar, desaparecer o asesinar – para impedir la victoria de la izquierda en una campaña presidencial El tradicionalismo bipartidista está herido de muerte, aunque todavía patalea, pero el Polo Democrático tiene un porvenir por delante. Ahora, la clave está en que actúe sin sectarismo y sin ambigüedad.
To all those who wanted to stigmatize the Polo Democrático – the people of Bogotá know how to think and understand. And vote with independence. This is the lesson for the president.
A todas los que quisieron estigmatizar el Polo Democrático – los bogotanos saben pensar y entender. Y votan con independencia. Esa es la lección para el presidente.
-Joselín Bolaños, Bogotá
The crushing triumph of Moreno in Bogotá, as well as the consolidation of the Polo Democrático as the first political force in the capital, shows that Bogotanos don’t appreciate the president interfering in elections and telling them who to vote for. His intervention produced the opposite effect to what he intended – in the end, he lost Peñalosa votes. Just to point out, if its not already crystal clear, that neither the editorials in El Tiempo, nor countless political columnists, convinced the voters. If they had, Peñalosa would have won by a large margin. A slap in the face to the columnists and a warning to the media who ganged up to defeat the Polo The voters are not idiots and they know when someone tries to manipulate them.
El aplastante triunfo de Moreno en Bogotá, además de consolidar al Polo Democrático como primera fuerza política en la capital, demuestra que a los bogotanos no nos gusta que el presidente se nos meta al rancho y nos diga por quién debemos votar. Su intervención resultó produciendo el efecto contrario – al final, quitándole votos a Peñalosa. Quedó probado, por sí ya no estaba claro, que ni los editorials de El Tiempo ni los votos cantados de los columnistas tienen incidencia en los votantes. Si contaran, Peñalosa habría ganado y por amplio margen. Un golpe al ego de los columnistas, y una voz de alarma para los medios, que en gavilla trataron de socavar al Polo los electors no son bobos y saben cuándo se los manipula.
– María Jimena Duzán in El Tiempo, Bogotá
Bruno, Simone “¿Quién ganó en las elecciones colombianas?” Telesur report, Caracas, 5 de noviembre de 2007
“Comienza división liberal por alianzas para el 2010,” report in El Tiempo, Bogotá, 31 de octubre de 2007
“El Polo es una realidad nacional,” editorial in Voz, Bogotá, 31 de octubre de 2007
“¿Seguirá el Polo?” article in Semana, Bogotá, 6 de agosto de 2007
“Por Bogotá, vamos a ganar,” Bogotá Positiva election campaign paper, Bogotá, octubre de 2007
“El Polo obtuvo la mayor votación en 18 de las 20 JAL,” report in El Tiempo, Bogotá, 30 de octubre de 2007
“Peñalosa en su laberinto,” article in Cambio, Bogotá, septiembre de 2007
“El colapso,” article in Semana, Bogotá, 29 de octubre de 2007
Vieira, Constanza. “Una docena de tejas por su voto,” IPS, Montevideo, 27 de octubre de 2007
“Polo repite en Bogotá,” headline report in El Tiempo, Bogotá, 29 de octubre de 2007
Germán Vargas Lleras interview in El Espectador, Bogotá, 4 de noviembre de 2007
Angarita, Álvaro. “Una campaña bajo la guerra sucia,” Voz, Bogotá, 31 de octubre de 2007
“Maya pide investigar a Uribe; gobierno dice que no ha participado en política,” report in El Tiempo, Bogotá, 31 de octubre de 2007
Samper Pizano, Daniel. “Se descarriló el tren sucio contra el Polo,” El Tiempo, Bogotá, 31 de octubre de 2007
César Gaviria interview in Semana, Bogotá, 5 de noviembre de 2007
Jimena Duzán, María. “Uribe perdió en Bogotá,” El Tiempo, Bogotá, 29 de octubre de 2007
Cuello, Rafael. “Unos resultados aleccionadores,” Polo Democrático internet site, Colombia, 7 de noviembre de 2007