The call came a day after national media reported on a deadly rebel attack in the northeast of Colombia. At least 15 soldiers were killed in the FARC ambush on Saturday in the Arauca department.
“The time has come to suspend the dialogues,” former Vice-President Francisco Santos said in a press conference that he organized along with fellow primary candidates, former ministers Oscar Ivan Zuluaga and Oscar Holmes Trujillo.
“Only when there is a unilateral ceasefire should the peace process be continued,” Santos, a cousin of current President Juan Manuel Santos, continued.
The Uribe loyalists blasted the president for withholding information on Saturday’s attack until after Independence Day celebrations and the president’s formal opening of the legislative year.
According to the presidential hopefuls, Santos’ silence showed his government is “weak, deceitful and anti-democratic” and only seeks to portray Colombia as a “land of wonders,” an accusation that “Uribistas” said was untrue.
The candidates for Uribe’s Democratic Center political party are warming up for primary elections that will be held this month. Following the internal election, one candidate will run for president with the explicit support of the controversial, but still relatively popular, former head of state.