Sunday’s assassination attempt on Aida Avella has been condemned by various sectors of the political community.
Since the attack Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged “all that is necessary” to protect the leftist leader along with a promise to to investigate the attempted assassination.
Santos’ sentiments were echoed by candidate for the Democratic Center Party (Centro Democratico) Ivan Zuluaga who called for “all measures and safeguards to prevent this from happening,” reported El Espectador.
The FARC’s peace delegation in Cuba said in a published statement that the assassination attempt on presidential candidate Aida Avella was “effectively attacking the credibility of the peace process.” The FARC also called for the government to open “an investigation with immediate results” to show that they can provide political guarantees for opposition parties.
Avella herself has reacted defiantly to the attempt on her life. In a press conference today the UP candidate said “we follow the campaign, everyone is working…dedicated exclusively to the continuation of our candidates.”
Avella returned to Colombia in 2013 from a 18 year exile due to death threats and previous assassination attempts. Most recently the UP leader received a death threat at the beginning of February from the paramilitary group Black Eagles (Aguilas Negras).
The attack has reached the international community as the International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia (OIDHAC) have criticized the government for failing to protect Avella. They along with 40 other organizations sent a letter after February’s death threats calling on the government to take measures to protect political opposition members. The said that the attack “demonstrates that there are no guarantees for the political opposition in Colombia.”
Throughout the 80s and 90s the UP faced extermination by paramilitary and security forces and were forced to disband in 2002. The 2014 elections will be the first for the party since 2002.
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