Polo Democratico seek OAS protection after murders

Leftist Colombian political party Polo Democratico Alternativo announced it will go before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to request protection for party members, after seven of its activists were murdered in the last three months.

“We are drawing up a complaint with a group of lawyers to take to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as soon as possible” Polo President Clara Lopez said in a telephone interview.

According to EFE, party sources say the latest killings happened Tuesday in the north-west department of Choco, where city councillor Inocencio Martinez was found by a river bank with bullet wounds to the head. The other six party members killed were in the west of the country and along the Caribbean coast.

Lopez has also asked for an interview with Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio to request protective measures for party members.

The group are reportedly looking to the IACHR for interim measures of protection for at least 100 Polo leaders who have received threats from illegal groups, in particular former presidential candidate Gustave Petro and former party President Carlos Gaviria.

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