Twenty candidates in the local elections held in Colombia in October have been assassinated so far, the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) announced Sunday.
According to the NGO, another 32 candidates have received threats, four have been kidnapped and seven survived assassination attempts.
The Partido de la U and the Conservative Party seem the primary victim of violence; more than 50% of acts of violence against candidates were committed against candidates from these two parties.
According to the MOE, the violence takes place because of a variety of motives. In some cases illegal armed groups are trying to influence the elections. In other cases illegal armed groups seek to exercise control over where elections take place. Some violence is related to the national government’s policy to return land by illegal armed groups to its original owners.
The MOE works closely with the national government and the police to assess the electoral risk in the different regions of Colombia.