The director of the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) has said that 158 Colombian candidates have been victim of some type of political violence, in an interview with W Radio Sunday.
MOE director Alejandra Barrios said the violence took the forms of threats, murders and kidnappings as well as threats of the aforementioned crimes. “There were a total of 158 acts of political violence against candidates reported to the Electoral Observation Mission of which 41 were murders and 22 attemped murders,” said Barrios.
The director said that this election period has been one of the most violent. “Now we have surpassed, by 143%, the elections of 2007 in terms of violence where the right to decide to support a political party is put at risk,” said Barrios.
In terms of virtual threats, Barrios said the website of the Registry Office is being protected by software to prevent a repeat of what happened last year. During Colombia’s congressional elections on March 14, 2010, the Registry’s website was brought down by a cyber attack.
The MOE identified the department of Meta, in Colombia’s Eastern Plains as being on high alert for the upcoming elections on October 30, especially the municipalities of Puerto Gaitain and Castilla La Nueva which have indications of enrolment irregularities.
Barrios said “Apart from violence from the Farc and armed drug gangs, the violence experienced in this area is due to political campaigns and the dirty war.”