Meet the First Female Evangelical Presidential Candidate of Colombia
April 3, 2018
Viviane Morales explains why truth and repentance will heal the scarred South American nation more than prison sentences for FARC rebels.
Why does Viviane Morales, Colombia’s first-ever evangelical presidential candidate, want to lead one of South America’s most troubled countries?
It’s more than the chance to become the first female president of the mountainous Andean nation. She began her three-decade political career fighting for more rights for Protestants in the Catholic-dominated society. After serving as attorney general and a senator, the 55-year-old now believes the time is ripe for Christian leaders with family values to help heal society’s struggles throughout Latin America.
Colombia’s next leader will inherit a deeply scarred nation with wounds still festering. In 2016, the government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) signed peace accords in Havana, Cuba, ending the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running conflict that over a half-century killed 220,000, displaced 6 million, and “forcibly disappeared” tens of thousands. While FARC guerrillas have formally demobilized, their remnants—along with criminal gangs and National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas—continue to kidnap and terrorize. Narco-trafficking and illicit crop cultivation have spiked. Poverty and corruption remain endemic. And most recently, desperate Venezuelans fleeing economic and political crises are pouring over Colombia’s eastern border to find food and work.
Morales’s second Senate term ended in January when she resigned to switch parties and run for the nation’s presidency. She and her husband Carlos Alonso Lucio, a former guerrilla who became a senator and converted to Christianity, have spearheaded a national campaign to allow only couples in traditional marriages to adopt children.