At least 80 out of the 2,539 candidates running for Colombian Congress have links to paramilitary groups, a non-governmental organization reported Wednesday.
The Electoral Observation Commission (MOE), a Colombian NGO, says that these 80 candidates either have direct ties to paramilitaries or have family members facing charges for colluding with the now-demobilized group the AUC.
These “parapoliticians” running for the House of Representatives and the Senate are particularly concentrated in the Valle del Cauca, Casanare, Magdalena and Bolivar departments, according to MOE. Many are candidates from the PIN (Partido de Integracion Nacional) party, the report says.
PIN has previously faced similar accusations of paramilitary links in Colombian media.