Threats against leftist candidate taken ‘seriously’: Colombian Prez

Threats against leftist candidate taken ‘seriously’: Colombian Prez

Bogota, May 4 (IANS) Colombian President Ivan Duque has condemned alleged death threats made by a criminal group against leftist presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, saying his administration takes such threats “seriously.”

“I strongly reject all threats and, in fact, we have been concerned to strengthen the security of all candidates,” Duque said on Tuesday in an interview with a local radio station.

“Also, fortunately … there has been no information from the intelligence agencies validating that this situation is taking place,” he added.

Petro’s campaign team on Monday denounced the criminal ring “La Cordillera,” which is comprised of paramilitaries, for planning an attack against the candidate in central-west Colombia’s so-called Coffee Triangle, forcing the candidate to cancel campaigning there.

Petro’s security team had “received first-hand information from sources in the area” that La Cordillera was planning to assassinate the candidate, his campaign team said.

Colombian Interior Minister Daniel Palacios on Monday said the authorities were not aware of any threats against Petro, the candidate of the leftist Historic Pact for Colombia coalition, Xinhua news agency reported.

“After consulting with military forces and intelligence agencies, no plan has been revealed at this time,” Palacios added.

Petro leads the polls, trailed by the conservative candidate Federico Gutierrez, according to the latest surveys.

Colombia will hold presidential elections on May 29 to elect a successor to Duque, whose term ends in August.

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