Violence ahead of local and regional elections that are set in Colombia for October has increased 75% compared to the 2019 elections, according to the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE).
In it latest report on electoral violence, the MOE said it registered 231 acts of electoral violence since October 29 last year.
The violence is particularly an regions where illegal armed groups are active or “clans” have usurped control over the local economy and political system, according to MOE.
Think tank Paz y Reconciliacion (Pares) flagged 96 potential candidates with possible ties to illegal armed groups or clans that have been tied to organized crime, including corruption.
Almost half of these candidates are supported by one of Colombia’s traditional political parties.
The Antioquia, Santander and Sucre provinces saw most violent incidents related to the upcoming elections, MOE observer Mauricio Vela told newspaper El Nuevo Siglo.
Death threats are the most common form of aggression against people participating in election campaigns, said Vela.
Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez and Interior Minister Luis Fernando Velasco are expected in Congress next week to respond to opposition concerns about the safety of voters and the 132,000 candidates.
Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa, Inspector General Margarita Cabello, Ombudsman Carlos Camargo and National Police commanders were also called to Congress.
Source : colombiareports