Ongoing allegations of links to paramilitaries and narco-traffickers made against members of the controversial PIN party are part of an “extermination campaign” similar to that carried out against members of the communist Patriotic Union (UP) in the 1980s, PIN Senator Edgar Espindola said Wednesday.
Since its formation in the months before the March 14 congressional elections, Colombian media has exposed links between members of the party and politicians investigated for ties to the AUC, a paramilitary organization held responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Colombians.
According to Espindola, these media revelations are part of an extermination campaign that is putting the lives of PIN members in danger. “Just like in the past they exterminated the UP, today we feel there is a campaign to politically exterminate the PIN.”
The UP, a political party formed by guerrilla group the FARC in order to seek a political way out of the armed conflict, saw thousands of its members and leaders murdered by paramilitary groups in the 1980s.
The PIN will not allow this to happen, said Espindola. “We are not going to allow in a democratic country people looking to bring an end to a party that is made up of businessmen, teachers, priests and citizens,” he told newspaper El Espectador.
“If anyone has any complaint about a member of our party, let him file it, so that we can assist in establishing any wrongdoing,” the senator continued.
“There are millions of Colombians who voted for us who are neither drug traffickers nor paramilitaries,” Espindola said.