Paramilitaries Threaten Opposition Senators

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 19 June 2008

Three opposition Senators, two from the Colombian Liberal Party and another from the Polo Democratico Party, have received a series of death threats from a paramilitary group known as the 'Black Eagles' that operates in the Colombian capital Bogota. In one written threat the paramilitaries specifically say that all three are "in our sights".

Senator Jaime Dussan (Polo Democratico), Senator Juan Fernando Cristo (Liberal Party) and Senator Cecilia Lopez Montano (Liberal Party) have all spoken out against paramilitary violence. According to Senator Cristo "the threats against us are for our work in Congress and our highlighting the issues faced by the victims of the paramilitaries."

The threats against the politicians are not without foundation. Several members of the Colombian Congress have been assassinated in recent years and during the 1980s and 90s an entire opposition political party, the Patriotic Union, was wiped out by a campaign of assassinations planned by military intelligence agents. Among those killed were more than 10 Patriotic Union members of Congress.

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