"Every week three people are victims of electoral violence": Parents

With six months to go before the elections for the Congress of the Republic and eight for the presidential race, the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation has registered in the last seven months close to 62 acts of violence related to the 2022 electoral contest. These violations, which left 68 victims of threats and 11 of homicides, according to Pares, are related both to the local dynamics of the armed conflict and to corruption and patronage practices.

In the seven months that go into this contest, and in what is hardly considered a pre-electoral period (since formal registrations will open on November 13), acts of violence have already been registered. in 23 departments. One in every 2 events has occurred in Valle del Cauca, Antioquia and Magdalena. A similar scenario was experienced during the 2009 elections, in which mayors, councilors and governors were chosen, and in which Pares registered 230 victims in 28 departments. On that occasion, the places of greatest risk were also Valle del Cauca and Antioquia.

According to Pares, popularly elected officials such as councilors and mayors have been the most affected by electoral violence, followed by officials from political parties, public servants and those who have reported cases of corruption. At the level of political parties, a large majority of the victims were affiliated with alternative parties such as Alianza Verde, Colombia Humana, and the Movimiento Alternativo Indígena y Social, MAIS.

Since the signing of the peace agreement with the FARC-EP in 2016, the armed groups in the territories have experienced a rearrangement that has influenced the dynamics of electoral violence in the country and the escalation of the armed conflict in recent years. To this same it corresponds that 70% of the perpetrators of victimizing acts related to elections are not known since 29% of the facts are attributed to dissidents of the defunct guerrilla.

For Pares, the growth of alternative political parties has influenced so that the organizations criminals and political groups once again use violence as a mechanism for electoral competition.

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