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News > Colombia

Political Violence Ahead of Colombian Presidential Elections

  • Colombia, on the verge of electing its next president, is currently experiencing a violent electoral period. May. 25, 2022.

    Colombia, on the verge of electing its next president, is currently experiencing a violent electoral period. May. 25, 2022. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 May 2022

Several countries have warned of the threat of violence ahead of the Colombian elections to be held next May 29. Further, lawmakers from 20 countries have commented on the government interference in Sunday's presidential elections.

In the scenario of the "growing threat of violence, assassination, and interference" ahead of the first round of Colombia's presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, public figures and lawmakers from around 20 countries have exposed their concerns.

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A letter was signed by about a hundred political leaders, where they commented on the threats against Gustavo Petro, candidate for the presidency of the Historical Pact, and his vice-presidential candidate, Francia Márquez. According to some sources, the presidential candidate suspended a tour through the Coffee Axis scheduled for the current month as they were threatened by a paramilitary group that said it would attempt against his life.

The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) has warned about the increase in crimes of electoral violence in the country. The report referred to the rise in the ongoing assassination of all kinds of social leaders as well as government interference.

The armed strike carried out by the criminal group Clan del Golfo was another particularly significant violent event ahead of the elections. The clan threatened, tortured, murdered, burned trucks and cars, confined the population, and carried out other actions that generated fear and anxiety. The event resulted in 14 deaths. According to the Studies for Development and Peace, so far in 2022, Colombia registrations 21 ex-combatants killed, 44 massacres, and the assassination of 79 social leaders.

The articulation of the DefensoriaCol with human and social rights platforms is key! That is why we met with their representatives to socialize the Follow-up Report of our Early Warning 004-22.
The Ombudsman Carlos Camargo referred to the municipalities with risks of rights violations for the 2022 Elections and highlighted the importance of these platforms for the guarantee of DDHH in the territory. With Delegate SAT, an inter-institutional work table will be held.

The Ombudsman's Office monitoring work dropped that about 84 municipalities are under extreme risk regarding violence. The department of Chocó is considered one of the epicenters of selective murders and massacres against social leaders and former combatants. In light of the expected Sunday elections, Cauca with 16 municipalities, Nariño with 14, Chocó with nine, Norte de Santander with eight, and Antioquia with seven are among the departments reported by the office with an extreme risk of violence.

Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) has agreed to a cease-fire in light of the presidential elections in Colombia. The Colombian armed group clarified that the cease-fire only covers the government's military and police forces, as they reserve the right to defend themselves if attacked.

Intending to guarantee security, public order, and the influx of voters to the polls, with only five days ahead of the Presidential elections, the Executive has already ruled on Tuesday a decree that orders dry law, which means a restriction on the sale and consumption of alcoholic to be effective on Saturday.

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