Teacher throws sandal at Colombian presidential candidate

Bogota, March 7 (IANS/EFE) A Colombian teacher threw a sandal at former agriculture minister and a presidential candidate Andres Felipe Arias during a public event at a theatre in the northern Colombian city of Barranquilla.

The “aggressor”, whom Arias pardoned with a kiss, was identified as Leyda Delgado. She belongs to the leftist opposition Alternative Democratic Pole party.

The sandal was thrown at a time when Arias was preparing to speak at the forum being held at Barranquilla’s Amira de la Rosa Theater.

Arias is one of the hopefuls of the right-wing PCC party for the primaries that the group will hold March 14 to choose a single candidate to run in the presidential election May 30.

Delgado told reporters that she remembered “all the neoliberal measures that (Arias) took as minister”, and that was why she wanted to “give him a suitable sendoff” in line with what she feels about him.

“Neo-liberal” is a Latin America a term used as a slur by leftists to describe advocates of free-market, laissez-faire economic policies.

The teacher admitted that she threw the sandal recalling how an Iraqi reporter threw one of his shoes at ex-US president George W. Bush.

Ex-Minister Arias came down from the theatre stage with the sandal in his hand and returned it to its owner, to whom he gave a kiss, at which time Delgado tried to slap him.

“We use ideas and love for Colombia and for the Caribbean region,” Arias said.



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