Regional elections were held across Colombia yesterday. Voters elected 1103 mayors and municipal council members, and 32 governors. However, at least eight of the newly elected governors—from the electoral districts of Córdoba, Cesar, North Santander, Santander, Guajira, Sucre, Casanare and Middle Magdalena—are alleged to have ties to right-wing paramilitaries. In other words, about 25% of the newly elected governors may have links to the local power brokers: the paramilitaries.
This is, of course, an initial assessment. The figures may be higher. But for now we know that a good part of the country is still under the influence of such groups—influence that reflects a deep-rooted problem in Colombian electoral politics in the midst of the on-going armed conflict
For more from Nazih Richani's blog, Colombian Cuadernos, visit nacla.org/blog/cuadernos-colombianos, or see the NACLA Report July/August 2009, "Coercion Incorporated: Paramilitary Colombia."