MPs from more than 20 countries have expressed their “serious concern” about the growing threats of violence and assassination ahead of the Colombian elections.
In an open letter signed by global celebrities such as former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, member of Congress and professor Noam Chomsky, they condemn political violence against candidates.
The letter shows how death threats now “regularly spread on threatening social media platforms.” [candidates’] their lives and their right to political expression just days before the first round of voting”.
Earlier this month, an assassination plot against incumbent senator and top presidential candidate Guastavo Petro was uncovered.
62 years old AFP in February: “The specter of death accompanies us.
“It just keeps appearing to me like a flash of light, when I’m in a crowd, when I’m on the platform and there’s a full square, someone can shoot from anywhere.”
The plan was coordinated by the paramilitary group La Cordillera, based in the mountainous region of Risaralda.
The organization has its roots in Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary movement that emerged in the 1980s against Marxist guerrilla groups.
Both Mr. Petro and his partner Francia Márquez Mina have survived assassination attempts in previous years.
Colombia has a long history of assassinations, the country has seen more than 50 years of conflict between the state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia that ended with a peace agreement in 2016.
The open letter states that “more than 50 social leaders – including trade unionists, Indigenous and Afro-Colombian representatives, farmers’ movement organizers and environmentalists – were murdered. harm this year in an attempt to intimidate and eliminate prominent Colombian movements.”
It added that Colombia’s Gaitanista paramilitary Self-Defense Force (AGC) launched an “armed attack” that resulted in dozens of deaths and “the entire area being paralyzed”.
Top military officials have been accused of interfering with “the highest levels of Colombia’s government” with the warnings growing “bigger after the democratically elected leaders’ suspension earlier this month This raises concerns about the applicability of targeted legislation.
The letter ends with a call to unite with the Colombian people in “the struggle for a free and peaceful democratic process”.