Three city councilors have been forced to flee a town in the southwest of Colombia due to threats from local guerrillas, a local newspaper reported Monday.
The councilors, named as Melida Sandoval, Eider Mina and Edwin Figueroa, reportedly left Suarez — a town in the south-western department of Cauca — late on Sunday for the safety their families, after receiving threats from local FARC groups.
The threats are presumed to be linked to local elections due to be held tomorrow Tuesday January 10 to elect a new ombudsman.
The decision of the councilors to leave the area followed a meeting held on Saturday attended by local councilors, Governor of Cauca Temistocles Ortega Narvaez, and Cauca’s police commander to discuss ways of improving security for local respresentatives in the region.
Suarez is the town where the Colombian army shot dead former FARC leader Alfonso Cano in November 2011. Following Cano’s death, local authorities expressed their fear that this would lead to repercussions.
The department of Cauca, crucial to trafficking drugs from the Colombian jungles to the Pacific ocean, is considered to be one of the epicenters of guerrilla activity in Colombia.