FARC Kills Two Colombian Mayoral Candidates; Release Communique Calling For “Political Solution”

June 1, 2011 7:00 am 0 comments

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (right) and Interior Minister Germán Vargas Lleras (middle).

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed two mayoral candidates in the Colombian department of Antioquia over the weekend, a sign that violence is on the rise in the lead-up to October’s local elections.

Conservative Party candidate Guillermo Roldán Correa and Partido de la U candidate Donay de Jesús Correa Londoño, who were both running for mayor of Campamento, were killed by the FARC after being held for a short time in the the village of La Concha. The two politicians had never previously received any threats and had traveled without bodyguards, according to José Acevedo, the police chief of Antioquia.

Acevedo also said that both candidates were about five hours driving distance from Campamento when they were killed. Correa was in the village of La Polka and Roldán was in San Antonio when they were abducted.

The FARC’s 36th Front has a strong presence around Campamento, where in the past they have set up roadblocks, killed and kidnapped people and have also attacked the electricity infrastructure and roads in the area. The guerrillas in the region allegedly earn their income from the drug trade and by extorting local gold miners.

Violence by the FARC has been on the rise in recent weeks, with the group attacking a mayoral candidate for El Bagre in Antioquia and threatening conservative leader Liliana Rendón.

The attacks also coincide with the 47th anniversary of the FARC’s founding. On Monday the guerrilla group released a communique where it called for a “political solution” and a “civilized” end to the conflict in Colombia and blamed the government for preventing the end of the armed conflict.

Colombia’s Interior Minister Germán Vargas Lleras took a hardline stance to the communique, saying the government will not consider a humanitarian exchange and that the FARC should release all prisoners without any conditions.

“Nobody is going to build a stage for a political role without concrete facts that demonstrate a real will to release these people, so the government is not prepared to mount a platform that does not lead to anything, ” Vargas said, according to Colombia’s Caracol Radio.

The FARC have been fighting the Colombian government since 1964. Over the past decade their size and capabilities have been reduced as Colombia’s government launched a military offensive first under former-President Álvaro Uribe and continued under current President Juan Manuel Santos.

However, according to Colombian magazine Semana, the recent attacks and kidnapping by the FARC show a resurgence in the group.

Colombia’s regional elections are slated for October.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • About 140,000 Uruguayans left their country in the aftermath of the 2001 financial crisis. Now, tiny Uruguay’s booming economy is luring them back. Mariana Bueno reports from Montevideo.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

Andes

  • Aymara Indian activists opposed to mining operations in Peru’s southeastern Puno region agreed in an open meeting Tuesday to halt protests until after the June 5 presidential run-off vote.
  • Bolivia said on Tuesday it had taken steps to ensure that Iran’s defense minister, who is accused by Argentina of planning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, leaves Bolivia immediately.
  • A corporal and two privates died when FARC guerrillas ambushed an army patrol in a remote area in Colombia’s Arauca province, which borders Venezuela, media reports said.

Southern Cone

Image: Ministerio del Interior y Justicia de Colombia.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Today in Latin America Great Reads This Week

    Great Reads This Week

    Aiming to Create a Jazz Capital Melena Ryzik. The New York Times. January 18, 2015. Danilo Pérez, a Panamanian jazz pianist and founder of the Panama Jazz Festival, is a towering figure in the world of jazz — a genre of music not quite as popular in the region as in the U.S. or Europe. As a teacher and mentor, he is a tireless promoter of musicianship in his home country. Here, reporter Melena Ryzik explores his highly influential jazz […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba North America Today in Latin America United States Cuba, U.S. Agree on Diplomacy, Clash Over Human Rights During Historic Talks

    Cuba, U.S. Agree on Diplomacy, Clash Over Human Rights During Historic Talks

    Top Story — High-level talks between U.S. and Cuban delegates in Havana ended with both sides agreeing to move forward with plans to restore diplomatic ties and to reconvene ahead of April’s Summit of the Americas, when both countries’ presidents are set to meet. While the two days meetings were largely cordial, representatives of both countries clashed over human rights issues — with Cuba countering remarks about its humanitarian record with references to recent killings of unarmed black men by […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico News Briefs North America Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Has Had A Horrible Year

    Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Has Had A Horrible Year

    In the year since TIME magazine billed him as the savior of Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto has watched his public image unravel. This time last year, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was riding a wave of international adulation—one that symbolically peaked when he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as the man poised to steer the country in the right direction. He had ostensibly reformed the country’s public-education system, raised taxes on the rich (as well as on […]

    Read more →
  • Argentina Southern Cone Today in Latin America New Evidence Raises Questions About Death of Argentine Prosecutor

    New Evidence Raises Questions About Death of Argentine Prosecutor

    Top Story — New evidence uncovered during an investigation into the mysterious death of an Argentine prosecutor who accused President Cristina Fernández of protecting Iranian officials connected to a terror bombing complicates the narrative that he took his own life on Sunday night. A locksmith consulted by investigators on Wednesday said that one locked entrance to the apartment of Alberto Nisman could be easily opened with a simple hook. Investigators also found a third way to access Nisman’s residence through […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican President’s Conflict-of-Interest Scandal Deepens

    Mexican President’s Conflict-of-Interest Scandal Deepens

    Read More: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Has Had a Horrible Year Top Story — Further evidence of favoritism involving Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration and real-estate developers emerged on Tuesday, as an investigation by The Wall Street Journal revealed that a contractor who sold a property to the president in 2005 went on to win over $100 million in government contracts. The discovery follows November reports that another construction company sold a house to the president’s family and […]

    Read more →
  • Argentina Southern Cone Today in Latin America As Death of Prosecutor Shocks Argentina, Investigator Says Suicide Likely

    As Death of Prosecutor Shocks Argentina, Investigator Says Suicide Likely

    Top Story — In a case that has engrossed Argentina, prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead on Sunday night — just hours before he was to testify against the country’s president and other officials at a congressional hearing — of what the state’s lead investigator in the case says was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A preliminary autopsy of Nisman’s body found no evidence that anybody else was connected with his death, according to Viviana Fein, the investigating […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Withdraws Ambassador to Indonesia after Excecution of Citizen

    Brazil Withdraws Ambassador to Indonesia after Excecution of Citizen

    Top Story — The government of Brazil withdrew its ambassador to Indonesia on Saturday after the execution of a Brazilian national on drug trafficking charges. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said in a statement that she was “outraged” by the execution by firing squad of Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who was arrested in 2003 by Indonesian authorities who found cocaine concealed in his hang glider at the Jakarta airport. Moreira was executed along with five others, most of them foreign nationals, […]

    Read more →
  • Blog Today in Latin America Great Reads This Week

    Great Reads This Week

    Latin America News Dispatch is happy to announce the latest addition to our weekly newsletter — Great Reads This Week. Here, you can see some of the week’s best feature articles on Latin America. Delivered every Sunday, Great Reads This Week places an emphasis on long-form journalism and in-depth analysis. Enjoy! “In Bolivian Prisons, Blood is Thicker Than Bars,” by Sara Shahriari. Al Jazeera America. January 12, 2015. San Pedro men’s prison in Bolivia is home to a number of […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America White House Rolls Out Details of New Cuba Policy

    White House Rolls Out Details of New Cuba Policy

    Top Story — The United States on Thursday announced the details of the partial restoration of economic ties with Cuba, a handful of regulatory changes set to take effect on the following day. The policy changes by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments follow the historic announcement by the U.S. and Cuban governments in December that they will seek to normalize diplomatic relations. Starting Jan. 16, U.S. citizens will be allowed to use credit cards, open bank accounts and conduct […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti Today in Latin America After Government Collapse, New Haitian Prime Minister Takes Office

    After Government Collapse, New Haitian Prime Minister Takes Office

    Top Story — The new prime minister of Haiti took office on Wednesday by default after parliament dissolved the day before. The breakdown of parliament followed government and opposition leaders failing to authorize much-disputed elections — overdue since 2011 — by a Monday deadline. On Sunday, President Michel Martelly announced that he had reached a last-minute consensus with several members of the opposition ahead of the deadline, but the agreement collapsed. The president was meant to call for elections in […]

    Read more →