Electoral observers and authorities Sunday denounced numerous irregularities occurring during Colombia’s local elections.
Electoral Observation Mission
- The obligatory six officially assigned electoral officials are present in only 57% of the polling stations
- In 20% of the polling stations voters are not able to vote anonymously.
- In 26% of the polling stations there were no electoral witnesses
- Electoral observers were refused entry to polling stations in Bogota D.C., Medellin (Antioquia), El Retorno (Guaviare), Puerto Lopez (Meta), Carmen de Viboral (Antioquia), Andes (Antioquia), Samaniego (Nariño), Olaya Herrera (Nariño) and Charala (Santander).
- The observers received complaints regarding voter intimidation in Medellin’s Comuna 1, Comuna 5 and Comuna 6.
- In Medellin’s Comuna 13, members of local gangs have been handing out slanderous flyers against mayor candidate Anibal Gaviria and governor candidate Sergio Fajardo.
- In Hato Nuevo (Guajira) elections were temporarily suspended to reorganize the polling station
- Resident of Santa Lucia (Atlantico) received a threatening pamphlet
- In Riosucio (Choco), Puerto Gaitan (Meta), Soledad (Antioquia) and Yopal (Casanare) observers found falsified ballots.
Organization of American States
- The obligatory six officially assigned electoral officials are present in 84% of the polling stations
- Only 16% of the electoral observers arrived before 8AM when polls opened
- 68% of the polling stations were considered adequate
- Security forces were present in or around 96% of the polling stations
- There were not enough electoral witnesses in the polling stations
- Colombia’s Vice President, Angelino Garzon, confirmed that elections falsified ballots were found in Yopal, but teh national government did not suspend the elections despite unrest.
Inspector General’s Office
- Electoral transhumance (the transportation of voters to other municipalities to vote) was confirmed in the northern departments of Atlantico and Bolivar and in Valle del Cauca, where buses took voters from the capital Cali to the nearby Yumbo.
- The Inspector General’s Office began investigating allegations that falsified ballots were being handed out in the northeastern city of Bucaramanga and the nearby town of Puerto Wilches, both in the Santander department.
- Residents of Chivolo, Magdalena burned down the local Registry’s office Saturday after reports arose that boxes of marked ballots were found.
- A candidate of the council of the San Calixto in Norte de Santander was shot by contract killers, but survived.
- The son of former Choco governor Julio Ibarguen was arrested Saturday carrying 700 million pesos, allegedly meant to bribe voters
- Eight men were arrested for handing out slanderous propaganda in Cali. More than 24,000 flyers were confiscated.
- 76,000 slanderous flyers and 10 million pesos were seized in the town of El Dorado, Meta