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Bogota`s Mayor Gustavo Petro could be kicked out of office next month in a city-wide referendum on his government.

It`s a big vote, hugely important for the future of Colombia`s capital city; the undisputed economic engine of the nation.

After years of mismanagement and corruption Bogota desperately needs a period of competent government.

So you`d imagine the chaps behind the “Si” (get rid of Petro) and the “No” campaigns are running slick operations, with some killer key messages, top celebrity endorsements and first class social media mobilization strategies, right?

Not a bit of it. Not a chance señores.

This is the world`s most laughably amateur, excruciatingly-toe-curlingly-bad campaign.

Check out the two videos below and make up your own mind:

First, the inspiring “Yes” campaign.

What joy it is to hear “Si” repeated on a loop throughout the entirety of an endless 30 seconds. Oh and then there`s the bizarre faux-salsa-cumbia-tropical jingle.

Just the trick, I`m so much the wiser as to why I should vote.

Also, I don`t understand why the multitude of smiling faces look, well, like pictures they`ve randomly downloaded from the internet.

On to the No campaign and it scarcely improves.

At least it includes words other than “No”, and at least there are some actual scenes of Bogota. I suppose too, that there`s merit in including a couple of recognizable (if like me you`ve got a bit of a penchant for Colombian telenovelas) celebrities.

But it`s whiffier and cheesier than a French delicatessen, and the miming is worse than Beyoncé at Obama`s inauguration.

So, are these the least convincing and woeful examples of propaganda you`ve ever seen in your life? If you can find worse please email [email protected]

Until then I`m off to study in depth the interesting promises and proposals these campaigns have encouraged me to consider.


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Kevin Howlett

Kevin is a political consultant and lobbyist who cut his teeth working in the UK Parliament. He is a regular panelist on Colombian television, a political communication strategist and a university lecturer. Kevin is the founder and editor of Colombia Politics.