Independent observers expressed satisfaction about the absence of pressure of illegal armed groups in Colombia’s local elections on Sunday, but reported aggression between voters in the north.
In its second report on irregularities, the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) reported no interference of illegal armed groups.
Tensions in Magdalena as voters eject dynasty from governor’s office
The MOE did express concern about tensions and aggression in the northern Magdalena province where leftist candidate Carlos Caicedo won the elections and ejected the controversial Cotes dynasty from the governor’s office.
Tensions between supporters of Caicedo and the Cotes family led to violence in two municipalities in the south of the province while public security in five other municipalities could be affected, according to the MOE.
In three of these municipalities, people were arrested for vote-buying.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said that in one of these towns, San Zenon, people attacked the local registry office.
Vote-buying arrests throughout Colombia
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, 39 people were arrested for election-related crimes throughout Colombia.
According to the MOE, other vote-buyers were arrested in the coastal city of Cartagena,
More than $130,000 (COP450 million) in cash was confiscated throughout the country on suspicion this money would be used for vote-buying, the prosecution said in a press release.
In Bogota and Medellin, observers also found propaganda illegally placed inside polling stations.
The electoral observers additionally received reports of filled in ballots in seven municipalities. The MOE did not confirm claims of the Antioquia governor’s office of this type of fraud in the capital Medellin.