Eleven candidates for mayor throughout the civil war-torn nation have been killed so far, and about eight candidates seeking municipal council posts have also been murdered, according federal sources. The elections are set for October 26.
While authorities are blaming the executions on the 17,000 strong Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), some are being blamed on extreme-right "death squads."
In many municipalities, there are no candidates for mayor. In about 20 areas, there is only one candidate on the ballot. The killings have occurred despite the Colombian government's goal of securing local government in the countryside through increased defense funding.
In the 2000 mayoral election, 16 candidates were killed.
The guerrilla-style civil war in Colombia has continued for about 40 years.
YellowTimes.org correspondent Jeremy Le Page drafted this report.