Colombia’s interior minister announced Thursday that the government will enhance security in specific departments in response to nearly a dozen political assassinations in 2011.
After a meeting with Central Electoral Intelligence, Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras said the government will not allow the recent increase in violence to continue.
“The government will intervene in Yumbo, where there has already been two murders and many serious threats to political leaders, including the representative to the House,” Lleras said in reference to the recent murders of two political candidates in the Valle del Cauca department.
“This cannot continue and the decision that was agreed upon here today in this meeting is not only to reinforce protection, but also to advance rapidly in the capture of those responsible for the crime,” Lleras added.
The government has identified nine departments that will require specific attention to curb violence related to the October 2011 election. Among the high risk departments are Valle del Cauca, Sucre, Cordoba, Magdalena, Cesar, La Guajira, Nariño, and Huila.
Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera Salazar said authorities have prevented 36 terrorist plots to candidates already. They also have identified 52 threats to candidates, and about 272 alerts.