A mayoral candidate for the southwest Colombian city of Yumbo died Monday, two days after being shot in Cali, bringing the number of local election candidates murdered in Colombia this year to 10.
Yumbo deputy Fernando Vargas was outside of a bar in northern Cali on Saturday when two hitmen on motorcycles shot him. Metropolitan police General Miguel Angel Bojaca said the 35-year-old Vargas compromised his safety by telling his two bodyguards to leave the bar only minutes before the attack.
The Valle del Cauca department’s political community responded to the councilman’s death by expressing concern, sadness, and frustration.
Valle governor Francisco Jose Lourido Munoz has requested the planned October elections in the department to be suspended.
The town of Yumbo, which is where Vargas had hoped to be mayor, has seen three mayoral candidates killed over the past six years.
Amanda Ramirez, a Valle del Cauca department deputy, said after the death of her fellow councilman that people must respect the lives of the political representatives of Valle del Cauca.
“We are in the political arena where we need to express many complex situations, not only in the town but also in the department, and we hope that you respect the lives of the many candidates who are now in the political arena,” the councilwoman said.
Valle del Cauca assembly president Ana Milena Ortiz said that politicians in the department need to increase security measures.
“We ask for more security for councilmen, who definitely lack confidence and lack support from law enforcement.”
The metropolitan police commander has offered a $45,000 reward for information leading to the assassins’ arrest.
So far this year, ten local election candidates have been killed in Colombia that is going to the polls in October to elect governors, mayors, deputies and councilmen.