The heads of Colombian political parties and movements must call for an end to the violence and riots that followed recent local elections, according to an electoral observation NGO.
The Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) released a statement condemning the the post-election violence, from which the MOE has registered 55 reports of violence.
“It is incredible that despite the large number of post-electoral disorders that in some cases has ended in riots, no president or director of any political organizations has acted by calling their candidates, leaders and supporters for calm and respect of election results and election procedures,” said MOE Director Alejandra Barrios.
According to the electoral observers, acts of violence have increased 250% since the 2007 local elections in Colombia, which saw 22 violent acts. Of the 55 acts of violence following the October 30 elections, 24 have been disturbances and 31 were riots.
The northwest department of Boyaca, the northern Bolivar department, and the central Cundinamarca department had the most incidents of violence, according to the MOE, with eight, seven, and six reports of violence registered respectively in those departments.
The MOE reports that most of the violent events are caused by candidates and their supporters who have not accepted their defeat. The NGO “invites the militants and sympathizers to carry out all the legal resources to which they are entitled, within a framework of dialogue and respect for life, public and private property.”
“We are going to take preventive measures so that when someone else takes up violence he will meet the strength of our security forces. We will not allow that these sore losers let down our democracy and our country simply because they lost the elections,” Santos said.