The Colombian Communist Party (PCC) has been suspended from the left-wing Polo Democratico coalition for keeping links with another left-wing movement, Marcha Patriotica, local media reported Thursday night.
The president of Polo Democratico, Clara Lopez, said she expulsed the members of PCC for “exercising a double alliance” with the two organizations.
“The Polo Democratico cannot accept that within its ranks and in the same space, they [PCC] are constructing another political project,” said Lopez according to radio station RCN.
The most prominent of the 71 expelled members were Senator Gloria Ines Ramirez and House Representative Hernando Hernandez.
Recently, senators Camilo Romero, Jorge Elicier Guevara and Juan Carlos Avellaneda were suspended from Polo Democratico for their affiliation with Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro’s Progressive Party.
The left-wing Marcha Patriotica movement was created earlier this year by former Liberal Party Senator Piedad Cordoba and seeks to join hundreds of political and social organizations in the run-up to the 2014 elections..
On Thursday, Colombia’s defense minister Juan Carlos Pinzon reiterated earlier claims that the Marcha Patriotica was funded by left-wing FARC rebels.
“They [the FARC] are trying to […] penetrate at any moment the social protest, in order to integrate it into their activity,” said Pinzon.
The leftist organization has vehemently denied any links to illegal armed groups.