Politicians Murdered on Colombia-Ecuador Border

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Two Colombian local politicians, both members of the Liberal Party, were murdered Saturday in a town close to the border with Ecuador.

John Freddy Londoño and Brandon Bustamante were running for seats on the council of Valle del Guamuez, a municipality in the southwest department of Putumayo. They were killed in a residence while campaigning, reports Colombian newspaper El Espectador.

It is not known who is responsible for the murders. It is possible that they have some relation to the 48th Front, one the most powerful fronts of the Southern Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), which has a presence in the department. The Rastrojos, classed as an emerging criminal group or BACRIM by the government, also have a presence in the area, along with other paramilitaries who don’t belong to any organized groups, but whom may have an interest in influencing the outcome of the upcoming local elections.

InSight has reported on the risk that the BACRIMs could try to interfere in Colombia’s local elections, due to be held in October. Election years always herald a rise in violence as Colombia enters its 47th year of civil conflict.

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