Aida Avella, the presidential candidate of socialist party Patriotic Union (Union Patriotica – UP), survived an assassination attempt while on campaign in the northeast of the country on Sunday.
General Luis Danilo Murcia, commander of the Quiron Task Force in the Arauca state, the candidate campaign caravan of UP candidate Aida Abella was shot at by two men on a motorcycle.
The statement was corroborated by Venezuela television network Telesur which accompanies the campaign. The Venezuelan television network specified that two men on a motorcycle approached the caravan and shot at the SUV in which were Avella and Senate candidate Carlos Lozano.
Both were unharmed and immediately taken to an army base near the scene of the attack, reported Telesur.
“This is an attack against Colombia’s peace process and the right of political opposition in this country. Without guarantees for the opposition, there exists no democracy,” UP party president Omer Calderon said in a press release.
The campaign manager of the evangelical MIRA party earlier told Colombia Reports that non-established political parties do not enjoy the same level of protection as the established coalition parties after one of their congress candidates had briefly been kidnapped.
Following the attack, Avella took to social media platform Twitter to call on leftist Colombians to express their indignation and support her party’s claim Colombia lacks democracy.
Llamado a toda la izquierda, a los sectores democraticos y movimientos sociales a indignarse y pronunciarse por la falta a la democracia
— AídaAvella (@AidaAvellaE) February 23, 2014
Aida Avella just returned to Colombia late 2013 after being in exile for nearly two decades following an assassination attempt in 1996. This 2014 attempt on her life will have been the fourth since the late 80s.
The UP was disbanded in 2002 after a political extermination campaign carried out by members of now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC and members of the security forces killed thousands of the party’s members, including two presidential candidates.
The March elections for Congress and the May presidential elections are the first the UP is able to take part in elections since then.
PROFILE: Patriotic Union
- Grave hostigamiento a la caravana de Aída Avella y Carlos Lozano en Arauca (Union Patriotica)
- Candidata presidencial de Unión Patriótica sufre atentado en Colombia (Telesur)
- Atacan caravana de candidata presidencial de la UP, Aída Abella (El Tiempo)