Almost 1,000 councilors of Colombian municipalities have received death threats in the first seven months of this year, their federation said Monday.
“During this constitutional term, which is only seven months old, we already count almost 1,000 threatened. Yesterday, we were told that one of them was injured in [the northeastern department of] Arauca … Unfortunately we see public security deteriorating on a daily basis and even more when we are the direct representatives of the local Colombian democracy,” councilmen federation director Edgar Polo Devia said at a congress.
Polo blamed national authorities for insufficiently assessing the risks of local representatives.
“We see the National Protection Unit is completely ineffective having given an ordinary risk level to certain council members when in fact they have serious security problems,” said Polo.
According to the federation’s website, some 3,500 of 12,243 local representatives were threatened in 2011. Over the past ten years, 307 local representatives have been assassinated.