Colombia’s police began arresting alleged political activists on claims they were planning riots after elections on Sunday.
The electoral police operation was announced by General Jorge Luis Vargas on Tuesday.
The police chief said he had ordered the operation over alleged “intentions” to reject Sunday’s election results and commit acts of violence.
We have come across intentions to generate acts of violence, which have been called through social networks, anonymous profiles, the dark web and the deep web, where they call on committing violent acts and ignoring the electoral results.
General Jorge Luis Vargas
In the same announcement, Vargas said that the authorities would be targeting people on criminal charges that have nothing to do with the alleged conspiracies to commit violence.
Instead, the police and the Prosecutor General’s Office will arrest people on charges related to incidents of violence that occurred during anti-government protests last year, said Vargas.
The police chief presented no evidence that would support his claim of any conspiracies to commit violence by so-called “Primera Linea” groups that played a leading role in last year’s protests.
The police announcement followed a warning by President Ivan Duque, who said that the security forces would “make them respect the verdict of the Colombian people in the polls.”
The security forces will guarantee the full exercise of rights and will also make them respect the verdict of the Colombian people at the polls.
President Ivan Duque
Concerns about public unrest in the wake of the elections grew on Tuesday after opposition leader Gustavo Petro suggested that the election organizer, National Registrar Alexander Vega, failed to guarantee free and fair elections.
The campaign of Petro’s opponent, outsider Rodolfo Hernandez, accused the rival campaign of fraud without any evidence.
Electoral organizers, who have expressed their campaign about the vote-counting software, have warned that public confidence in electoral authorities plummeted after major irregularities in the March congressional elections.