RealNews

Colombia's Local Races Marred by Violence Before Elections

After a bloody campaign period in which dozens of candidates were killed, Colombians elected state and municipal leaders yesterday, with a former communist union leader leading the race for mayor of Bogota. The election was held a day after voters rejected most points of a referendum championed by hard-line President Alvaro Uribe, according to results released yesterday. Uribe said the referendum would give him the necessary tools to fight terrorism and corruption and boost the faltering economy. The referendum was the greatest defeat to hit Uribe since he was elected to office by a landslide last year on pledges to put this violence-racked nation in order and clamp down on corruption. The campaign period before yesterday’s vote was particularly violent, even by Colombian standards. Armed groups killed at least 30 candidates for mayor and kidnapped a dozen others. Full Story

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