Colombia’s losing candidate claims systematic death threats to former campaigners

Gustavo Petro (Screenshot: YouTube)

Gustavo Petro, who lost to President’select Ivan Duque in elections last month, said Monday that former campaign workers are receiving death threats throughout the country.

Petro said on Twitter that the “systematic threats” sent by the Aguilas Negras to Petro supporters and other social organizations are a crime against humanity.

“A systematic threat is a crime against humanity and the Prosecutor General must respond. His omission converts to complicity,” said Petro on Twitter.

Petro showed one of the threats sent to a campaign team in the Santander province in June when the guerrilla-turned-senator was competing over the country’s top job.

In the pamphlet, the authors make reference to a Petro campaign worker in the southern Huila department who was found murdered on the morning of the first round of elections.

It’s time to cleanse this country of all collaborators and so-called social leaders and followers of guerrilla Gustavo Petro.

Aguilas Negras

Authorities in La Guajira said a few weeks ago that a similar death threat sent in the name of the mysterious group to “petristas” in that province was false.

Colombia’s former Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo in 2015 claimed “the Aguilas Negras don’t exist.”


Who are the Aguilas Negras?


Multiple independent analysts agree that the Aguilas Negras are most likely far-right activists and extremist supporters of former President Alvaro Uribe who, independently, use the name to intimidate opponents.

Human rights defenders, victim representatives, unionists and other leaders have been receiving death threats from the Aguilas Negras since 2006.

It is unclear how many of the threats were carried out.


The must-see documentary on Colombia’s paramilitary threat


Since a peace deal with Marxist FARC guerrillas in late 2016, almost 300 social leaders have been assassinated, often by far-right actors.

Colombia has been home to extremists on all sides of the political realm for almost 100 years when communists were plotting a revolution.

Armed groups formed by these extremists have killed tens of thousands of civilians during the armed conflict that began with the formation of leftist groups like the FARC and the ELN in 1964.

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