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News > Latin America

Colombia Heightens Security for Candidates Amid Death Threats

  • Candidates Gustavo Petro (l) and Ivan Duque (r) are expected to make it to the second round.

    Candidates Gustavo Petro (l) and Ivan Duque (r) are expected to make it to the second round. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 May 2018

The two leading candidates, Ivan Duque and Gustavo Petro, have denounced plots against their lives.

A high-ranking Colombian official announced security protocols for presidential candidates Tuesday after possible attacks against Ivan Duque, Gustavo Petro and Alvaro Uribe were revealed.


Colombia: Petro Asks Uribe 'Why Was Witness Against You Killed?'

Last week candidate Ivan Duque of the Democratic Center Party denounced a plan to attack his party’s headquarters with explosives while Gustavo Petro, the leading progressive candidate, revealed a plot to murder him.

Petro suffered a violent attack in the city of Cucuta in March. He later criticized Colombia’s attorney general for not launching “an in-depth investigation into an attempted homicide.”

Uribe said Monday the National Intelligence Agency notified him of a possible attempt against his life.

“We do not underestimate any type of information in this regard. We have security protocols and we don’t spare the slightest effort,” the director of the national police, Jorge Nieto, said in a press conference.

Protection by police and members of a government agency for protection, and use of armored cars are part of the security measures taken to protect candidates in Colombia.

Security provision in Colombian electoral campaign is a real concern. In 1990 Luis Carlos Galan, presidential candidate for the Liberal Party was murdered by drug traffickers allied with right-wing paramilitary groups.

This year, several former guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were murdered, including Wilman Asprilla and Ansel Montoya who were murdered in Antioquia during electoral activities.

On May 27 Colombians will head to polls to vote for president. Duque and Petro are expected to go into a second round. Different polls give Duque between 34 and 38 percent of support, and Petro between 25 and 30 percent.

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