Colombian Presidential Hopefuls Diverge on Oil Exploration

With Colombian presidential hopefuls Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández, the U.S. government and investors are stuck with two bad options when it comes to fracking, energy investment and U.S. foreign relations, an analyst says.

Pietro Donatello Pitts, Hart Energy
Colombian Presidential Hopefuls Diverge on Oil Exploration

Candidates Petro and Hernández will next face off in the second and final round of elections on June 19 with the winner assuming the presidency of the South American country on Aug. 7. (Source: Hart Energy, Shutterstock.com)

Colombian presidential hopefuls Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández will face off next month in second round elections that pit the political left versus the right and candidates on opposite extremes regarding the direction of the country’s extractive industries.

First round Colombian presidential elections on May 29 saw Gustavo Petro and his running mate Francia Márquez Mina of the Historic Pact coalition take the top spot while populist businessman Hernández and his running mate Marelen Castillo of the Anti-Corruption Rulers’ League coalition came in second. Surprisingly, Federico Gutiérrez and his running mate Rodrigo Lara of the center-right Team for Colombia coalition didn’t garner enough votes to move to the runoff stage.

Both the U.S. government and U.S. investors would have been more comfortable with Fico making the runoff rather than Hernández or Petro but they’re stuck with two bad options, Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Political Science Fellow Mark P. Jones told Hart Energy from Houston.

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