Colombians residing abroad are preparing to elect a legislator to represent the interests of the Colombian diaspora in Congress.
There are approximately seventeen candidates residing in the U.S. or Canada vying for the seat in the Colombian legislature, two candidates living in Europe, and two in Venezuela.
Most prominent is Jorge Muñoz, a resident of Queens, NY, who known for his work to help the city’s homeless and unemployed. His non-profit organisation gained media attention in the U.S. after he was nominated as a CNN hero of the year in 2009. He is running as a member of the Mira party, a religious political organization.
Other front-runners include Jaime Buenahora, a lawyer who headed the New York Colombian consulate for five years and who is a member of conservative party Partido de la U. John Jairo Bustamante, a Medellin native who now lives in New Jersey, is a member of the Liberal party. Isabel Nivia, a lawyer, is from the Alianza Social Indigena party.
Other candidates hail from Montreal, New Mexico, Texas and Florida.
There are an estimated 50,533 Colombians registered to vote in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, New York’s consul general of Colombia has said. There there are an estimated 730,510 Colombians living in the U.S., with the largest communities found in South Florida and New Jersey.