200+ Victims of Violence During Election Campaign in Colombia

Entornointeligente.com /

Of the 222 victims of violence, 193 were threatened and 29 were murdered.

The Peace and Reconciliation Foundation released a report on Monday. It reveals that from March 13, 2021, to May 13, 2022, the latter date being the beginning of the electoral campaign in Colombia, 222 victims of violent acts were registered.

According to the report, of the 222 victims, some 193 have been threatened and armed groups murdered 29; these figures are generated after recording 179 violent acts in the different departments of Colombia.

The sectors cataloged as the most victimized are public officials with 41 percent, distributed as follows:

Council members with 24 cases

Mayors with 22 instances

Governors with 14

Seven senators

Four representatives to the Chamber of Deputies and three councilmen

Other sectors such as candidates for the House of Representatives register 21 cases of violent acts, followed by political party leaders with 14, the exact figure for journalists and 11 cases of former mayors.

The Peace and Reconciliation Foundation details that the most victimized political organizations since the beginning of the electoral campaign are the coalition of the Historical Pact with ten percent. According to polls, this coalition would win the Presidency through Gustavo Petro.

At the same time, the study details that due to the slow implementation of the Peace Agreements, several irregular armed structures have increased in the territory, such as the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Gulf Clan (self-styled as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia).

These irregular armed groups are present mainly in the Pacific region of the department of Nariño, in Norte de Santander, Bajo Cauca Antioqueño and now in Arauca, where they have declared armed strikes, intimidating the population and preventing the free development of an electoral campaign.

In addition to the situation of anxiety during the electoral campaign, Colombians are also suffering from the systematic persecution of social leaders and former combatants of the former FARC who submitted to the Peace Agreement. 

According to the Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Indepaz), 76 social leaders and 20 ex-combatants have been murdered this year. At the same time, 39 massacres have been perpetrated.