The transitional seats were created in the framework of an ongoing peace process between the government and the now-extinct FARC guerrillas. The victims have affirmed that the elections in northern Colombia were manipulated to favor the family of a military leader and the criminal Clan Gnecco.
The victims have also claimed that paramilitary group AGC had banned rivals of Jorge Tovar, son of jailed paramilitary warlord Jorge 40, from campaigning in the northern region. It has not been possible for candidates to embark on campaigns since electoral authorities never transferred the promised campaign funds.
The victims have expressed that they will not legitimize a process that was clearly designed for the arrival of the victimizers. They warned that constituency #12 was rigged from day one to guarantee all political clans' opportunities and the biggest victimizer's son.
A victims' representative from Tolima stated that allies of the now-extinct FARC guerrilla group and multiple clans were vying for the victims' seat in the southern province. In this respect, Former Interior Ministers Juan Fernando Cristo and Guillermo Rivera confirmed that the peace seats in Tolima and Cesar could end up in the hands of victimizers and regional clans.
According to a statement from the former ministers, the candidates never received the advance funding mandated by the Constitution. They remarked that the government had done nothing despite the victims' protests. Actual victims cannot be deprived of their rights again. The former ministers also noted that the peace seats are for them, not for the perpetrators or the political clans.