An NGO monitoring Colombia’s local elections said Monday a large majority of mayoral candidates have ties to convicted criminal politicians or paramilitary groups.
The announcement was made following an investigation by NGO Nuevo Arco Iris into the possibility of corruption in the upcoming October elections, to be held this Sunday.
Nuevo Arco Iris, a non-governmental organization committed to democratization and modernization in Colombia, said that “parapolitics” continues to be a major issue throughout Colombia.
According to a report by Caracol Radio, Nuevo Arco Iris has identified seven major problem zones, where the risk of influence from illegal armed gangs, corruption from local politicians or electoral fraud is extremely high.
Valencia and the head of the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) have called for the condemnation and punishment of any political parties that supported political candidates with proven legal problems.
The Electoral Observation Mission also revealed Monday that this election period had been one of the most violent in recent years.