Running for Bogota


In Colombia, a country wrought with drugs, violence and rampant corruption, a singer and a housewife decide to throw a wrench in the political machine by running for congressional office. To their surprise, politics turns out to be much more of a personal affair than they ever imagined. Following them roaming the streets, one is struck by how much they ressemble political candidates worldwide. Yet, because they live in a country written off by the international community, their stories become remarkable. Through them we are giving a chance to glimpse a more likeable Colombia. A Colombia where hope still exists.

Colombia / 1998




One is young. One is old.
One is black. One is white.
One is famous. One is not.
One wins. One looses. 

In the spring of 1998, along with an unprecedented number of political novices, two women partake in a process they hope will reverse the corruption wrought upon their country by drug lords and guerrilla leaders.

Leonor Gonzalez Mina, better known as La Negra Grande de Colombia, a famous singer and actress, and Claudia Vasquez a retired businesswoman and mother of two seize upon the chance of running for vacated seats in Colombia’s National Congress.

Running for Bogotá, a 50-minute verite style documentary, follows La Negra – who make the most of her popularity, and Claudia – who had joined Ingrid Betancourt's newly formed Oxygeno party and takes to wearing and giving out oxygen masks as a form of brand recognition - as they roam the streets of Bogotá soliciting votes and challenging a disaffected electorate to make a difference by electing them into office.

Though their individual agendas of ‘helping the children of Colombia” and ‘eradicating corruption’ are vague, their need to affect change is great.

Through La Negra and Claudia’s pursuit for a seat in parliament, viewers come to understand the two women’s political, and personal struggle as they eloquently express their fears, doubts and subsequent determination to change their country and through that themselves. Running for Bogota is their story.



Denver International Film Festival (1998)

Detroit International Festival of Film (1998)

Worldfest Flagstaff (1998) Bronze Award Short Subject Doc (1998)

Cinequest San Jose Film Festival (1999)

San Diego Latino Film Festival (1999)

Valleyfest Film Festival (1999)

Festival International De Films De Femmes (Creteil, France 1999)

San Antonio CineFestival (1999)

Rhode Island Film Festival (1999)

Festival Internazionale Cinema Della Donna (Torino, Italy 2000)

on tv

KPBS San Diego Public Television - October 1999

KTEH San José Public Television- May 1999