The Colombian Ministry of Defense announced that it will be employing over 100,000 members of the armed forces and national police to stand guard at polling booths during this year’s electoral procedures, reported the ministry’s website.
Defense Minister Gabriel Silva told reporters that army and police units will be dispatched around Colombia on the day of the election to maintain security in over 97% of the country’s polling stations, with the aim of reaching 100% coverage.
Such security measures have never before been taken for Colombia’s elections, and will this year constitute part of the ministry’s “Democracy Plan,” which aims to help voters to participate safely in the election process.
Silva explained that special attention will be given to high-risk areas of the country – locations that have been identified through information collected by the Electoral Intelligence Center.
“We have created a risk map that identifies those municipalities where the threat of narco-terrorism, violence and criminal gangs may be larger and more significant for the electoral process, and we will use the information to focus efforts and reduce risks,” said the defense minister.
Colombia’s congressional elections will take place on March 14 and its national election will take place on May 31 of this year.