Another assassination attempt of prominent opposition leader

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 9 May 2016

An attempt was made on the life of Imelda Daza, one of the leaders of the left-wing political party Patriotic Union, last Friday 6th May. Gunmen arrived at a meeting in Cartagena where the Patriotic Union leader and former candidate for the governor of Cesar Department was speaking. The meeting was being attended by members of the Patriotic Union, trade unionists and members of the social and political organization Patriotic March.

Witnesses reported that a grenade was thrown into the meeting and that a shoot-out lasted approximately 10 minutes. Fortunately Imelda Daza survived the assassination attempt unhurt.

The Patriotic Union leader, who was forced into exile from Colombia for nearly thirty years, stated that the attack was not only against her life but an attack on the peace process between the Colombian government and the FARC.

In a public letter to the negotiating table in Havana condemning the attack, the Patriotic Union stated that the assassination attempt “showed that the enemies of peace continue trying to sabotage the peace process”. They reinforce that “it is no secret that the Army, the Police and the security forces are divided into those who support peace and those who want to continue the war”.

In the 1980s 4,000 members of the Patriotic Union were killed in what has been called a political genocide. Violence against social and political leaders in Colombia has continued. 2016 has been marked by a series of assassinations of and attacks against opposition social and political activists, raising huge questions about the presence of paramilitaries in the country and violence perpetuated by those on the extreme right who oppose the peace process.

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