Systematic Effort to Push Opposition Out of Politics
News from Colombia |
on: Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Hernando Hernandez, the Democratic Pole spokesperson in Congress and indigenous representative, has denounced a systematic “wave of assassinations, assassination attempts, persecutions, displacements, illegal wiretapping and accusations in the media” aimed at forcing the Democratic Pole out of national politics.
Congressman Hernandez detailed 5 members of the Party killed in 2010 and 2011, and reported the recent assassination attempt against Democratic Pole Congressman Ivan Cepeda. According to Congressman Hernandez “It is not legitimate to kill anyone for their political beliefs” and real democracy is “dialogue on questions of vital interest to society” and the “conviction that we can agree.”
Colombia goes to the polls in regional and local elections at the end of October this year. In the past political violence against the Democratic Pole has increased in electoral periods. This year the Party has also reported irregularities in the inscription of voters in some areas where the Party traditionally has a high vote. In one area near Bogota, the number of electors has gone from just over 1,500 to over 3,000, causing the Democratic Pole to suspect that additional voters are being registered from nearby Bogota. The Party reported the situation to the Civil Registry, but the institution refused to follow it up. The Democratic Pole is considering a variety of legal means to have the situation investigated.