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News > Colombia

Colombia: Electoral Campaigns Damaged by Racism and Misogyny

  • Colombian presidential candidates are threatened by racism and misogyny. Apr. 5, 2022.

    Colombian presidential candidates are threatened by racism and misogyny. Apr. 5, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@peoplesdispatch

Published 5 April 2022

Elections observers in Colombia adverted about hate speech directed at presidential candidate Gustavo Petro and its potential to end in violence.

Colombia's electoral observers highlighted the potential violence resulting from the hate speech directed at presidential candidates, especially Gustavo Petro.

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On Monday, Francia Marquez, Vice-presidential candidate, said that she had been threatened with death three times during the past month. The "Aguilas Negras," a far-right group loyal to former President Alvaro Uribe, is behind the deaths threats.

The last statement by Aguilas Negras threatened to kill Petro and Marquez and some other members of the elected lawmakers of their party, allegedly to prevent a "catastrophe for the country." The threats came following an increase in hate speeches against Marquez, a black woman who became Petro's running mate in March.

Marquez had complained last month about the National Protection Unit's failure to provide adequate protection, saying that she had difficulty campaigning. The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) said that racism and misogyny are evidenced by utilizing opinion leaders and social media users who "legitimize violence."

The MOE expressed its concern about hate speech by prominent opinion leaders in national media whose objective is to hinder the political exercise of women and people of color through their dehumanization, delegitimizing their discourse by reducing their positions and proposals to the stereotypes and prejudices that have historically repressed these population groups.

The MOE called on politicians, opinion leaders, journalists, and ordinary citizens "to ensure that this type of hate speech is not allowed or replicated in any scenario and under any context."

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