Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez is a civil engineer by trade who has taken part in the politics of Colombia’s second largest city for more than a decade.
Gutierrez was born in Medellin in 1974 where he studied civil engineering at the university of Medellin, specializing in senior management, followed by political sciences at the Bolivariana University.
From a young age Gutierrez was involved in politics as a municipal youth councillor and a municipal planning councillor.
Gutierrez was elected in 2003 as councillor for the New Party. During this term he supported then-Mayor Sergio Fajardo. In 2007 he was re-elected as city councillor with the current President Juan Manuel Santos‘ U-Party and was chairman of the council in 2008, initially aligning himself with then mayor, Alonso Salazar.
When he began campaigning in May this year, he was supported by Federico Restrepo, a candidate for Governor of Antioquia and also an ally of Fajardo.
The two calling themselves the “Federicos” toured Medellin collecting signatures to be added to the ballot. Restrepo abandoned Gutierrez however, in favor of candidate Alonzo Salazar, reportedly due to Restrepo’s stagnating popularity in contrast with Salazar who was tipped as a favorite.
Gutierrez, supported by the “We Believe” movement, has reportedly been believed by the Salazar campaign to be Uribe’s trojan horse, due to prior affiliations with the right-wing former president.
The new mayor on the other hand, insisted that his governance will be independent, and his promise is to govern with and for the people.