Former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro failed to win leadership of his Polo Democratico party and received a death threat on Facebook in what has been a bad week for the former M-19 guerrilla, reports El Espectador.
Polo Democratico president and former vice presidential candidate Clara Lopez Obregon retained her role at the top of the party, with 25 of the total 38 votes in the party’s executive committee going to the incumbent.
At the meeting of the executive committe the Polo Democratico party reiterated its decision not to support Juan Manuel Santos’ incoming administration and his so-called “National Unity Agreement.”
Following Juan Manuel Santos’ victory in the June presidential elections, Petro wrote a letter to the new president-elect seeking common ground on several issues, while stressing however, that he would maintain his “independence.”
Polo Democratic’s National Executive Committee unanimously distanced itself from the letter, saying it was a personal communication between Petro and Santos.
Lopez expressed her party’s opposition to the Santos government, especially what she called its “neo-liberal policies” that she said have led to more “poverty, unemployment and social inequality in Colombia.”
In the wake of Petro’s failed bid to secure leadership of his party, the former candidate received a message on Facebook from a user who vowed to end the politician’s life.
Petro called on the government to act in the same way as for the threats received by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s son, which involved a collaboration between Colombian intelligence agencies and the FBI.
“I see no difference between the one or the other, all channels and media showed their solidarity with the president’s son and there was a judicial process, I hope to do same with this case,” Petro said.
A Facebook group was created with the title: “I will kill Jeronimo Uribe, son of Alvaro Uribe.” Authorities arrested 23-year-old student Nicolas Castro, but charges were later dropped.
Former presidential candidate Antanas Mockus also received death threats through the social networking website during his campaign for the presidency.
A group was set up on Facebook entitled “I promise to kill Antanas Mockus before the 30th of May,” but was quickly removed and widely condemned.