Germán Casagua Bonilla, winner of the elections in Neiva, Huila, who collected around 180,000 signatures to enroll his candidacy in neighborhoods, districts, and townships, is a civil engineer from the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, specialized in environmental engineering from the Surcolombiana, and has a master’s degree in government and public policies from the Universidad Externado.
«We don’t want the hope and the illusion of seeing a city as we all deserve it to fade away, Neiva needs to be managed with decency,» he said at the time of enrollment, when more than 10,000 people joined him in a parade that showed the enormous support of the citizens for his government proposals.
Casagua was a candidate for mayor in the 2019 elections, where he obtained nearly 40,000 votes and lost to Gorky Muñoz Calderón, who got 62,000 votes.
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In 2023, he tirelessly toured all the neighborhoods and townships of this city, which has around 400,000 inhabitants and delicate security issues.
He carried out his political work with the slogan ‘Acciones por Neiva’, and he is a serious leader who has a deep knowledge of the local issues, having been a councilor for 7 years and achieving high vote counts.
«He is the best of all the candidates, and that’s why he won. He has shown from the City Council that he wants the best for Neiva,» said a merchant from the city center.
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Francisco Argüello, an opinion columnist for the newspaper La Nación, stated that with Germán Casagua as Mayor, the residents of Neiva will know in the coming months «if it was worth giving a chance to a young figure who presented himself as an opponent to the current mayor and defeated candidates with extensive experience in the public sphere.»
«He needs to surround himself well. Personally, I don’t believe he has the ability to manage Neiva, especially under the current conditions, but he could surprise us,» said Argüello, who added that Casagua has not worked as a secretary in the Mayor’s Office, «nor has he managed any government entity, and that worries me.»
«The success of his administration will depend on how he is surrounded, as happened with the doctor Rodrigo Lara Sánchez when he was mayor. Hopefully, he chooses a technical cabinet and people who bring experience in the public sphere,» said the journalist.
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He considers it important that the new mayor «dedicates himself exclusively to governing the city, and not to looking back at the past.»
Arguello stated that one of the risks is that he does not make fundamental decisions «and wastes time in his first months questioning the government of Gorky Muñoz, his predecessor and main political enemy.»
For EL TIEMPO