Posted on February 9, 2018 2:59 pm
Categories: Transitions

FARC Suspends Electoral Campaigns Following Wave of Attacks on Presidential and Congressional Candidates (E)

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Colombia’s once-feared largest rebel group, which signed a peace deal with the government, has suspended all campaigns in upcoming congressional and presidential elections, sullying an electoral cycle that was supposed to be a celebration of the group’s move into the political arena, without its rifles.

The leftist organization, which signed the deal in 2016, said there were “a lack of guarantees to realize political activity in the country,” after a spate of attacks against their wartime leader and current presidential candidate, Rodrigo Londoño. The group said the suspension of campaigning was temporary but did not indicate when, or if, it might resume.

The United Nations mission charged with monitoring the peace process reported last month that 36 members of the group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, have been killed since the peace deal’s implementation.

Mr. Londoño, better known by his nom de guerre “Timochenko,” was twice attacked on the campaign trail within a week by protesters who pelted his motorcade with rocks, on one occasion practically destroying his armored SUV.

Other candidates said they have received death threats, and one prominent member of the organization, who goes by the nom de guerre Iván Márquez, canceled a campaign event earlier this week in the face of violent protests. Joe Parkin Daniels, The New York Times