Government ministers have denied claims that six election candidates have been killed in the last week and said election related murders and death threats have been overstated, according to Colombian media.
Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said there have so far been 18 murders and 52 threats against candidates. This contradicted earlier claims by Polo Democratico Senator Camilo Romero’s that there had been 27 assassinations and 66 reported cases of threats and intimidation.
The minister also acknowledged there had been eight attacks on candidates and four kidnappings, while Romero had previously claimed the campaign had seen 11 attacks and five kidnappings.
Romero made his claims in a congressional debate on Tuesday, in which he questioned the government’s strategies for protecting candidates in the elections.
The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), which has been monitoring the elections, is due to present its data on violence and electoral irregularities throughout the country in a two-day conference starting Wednesday.