More dramatic still: at least one new poll, released late Thursday, shows him likely to win the presidency in a second-round vote on June 20.
Mockus had a 50-44 percent second-round lead over former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos in the new poll by the Centro Nacional de Consultoria polling firm. Santos had a statistically insignificant 35-34 lead in the first round, according to the poll commissioned by CM& Television. It had a 3 percentage point margin of error…
Mockus also has fiercely condemned the hundreds of extrajudicial killings allegedly committed by Colombia’s military on Uribe’s watch.
What puzzles some is Mockus’ Green Party affiliation. Environmental regulation — routinely flouted in Colombia — does not appear among his priorities.
“In my opinion Colombia’s biggest environmental problem is illegality,” Mockus says, blaming deforestation, for example, on illegal drug cultivation. “If we’re not able to change the culture, we’re not going to address environmental problems.”
Skeptics don’t believe Mockus is capable of putting the unruly countryside in order. Colombia remains the source of most U.S.-bound cocaine, has the Western Hemisphere’s only major leftist insurgency and the largest number of internal refugees after Sudan.
Mockus begs to differ. The man who led this city of 8 million during nonconsecutive mayorships in the 1990s and 2000s calls himself a “clean, tough guy.”
So far, none of the other presidential candidates have focused their attacks on Mockus, training their verbal fire at Santos, the front-runner.
The media has been more confrontational, questioning why Mockus waited until he had his party’s nomination to announce his Parkinson’s diagnosis and criticizing him for addressing issues as a philosopher, rather than a politician.