- Title: COLOMBIA: MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
- Date: 26th October 1997
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (OCT. 26, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/MV: VARIOUS OF ARMY FORCES PATROLLING STREETS OF BOGOTA. (3 SHOTS) 0.19 2. GV: VARIOUS OF POLICE WITH DOGS PATROLLING THE STREETS IN FRONT OF CONGRESS. 0.22 3. GV/SCU: MUNICIPAL BUILDING IN BOGOTA AND HONOUR GUARDS 0.32 4. MV/TILT: PAUL BRUMBER, MAYOR OF BOGOTA, RAISING COLOMBIAN FLAG. 0.40 5. GV/MV: PRESIDENT ERNESTO SAMPER ARRIVING AT VOTING PRECINCT/ SECURITY/ SAMPER VOTING (6 SHOTS) 1.25 6. CU: SAMPER SAYS "I HOPE THAT COLOMBIANS EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE IN ORDER TO PRESERVE DEMOCRACY BECAUSE THE BALLOTS REPRESENT DEMOCRACY. AND THE VOTES ARE THE BULLETS USED TO FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY, TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCE. THAT IS WHY WE MUST USE DEMOCRACY. I WANT TO TO URGE ALL COLOMBIANS TO COME AND VOTE AS A WAY OF SAYING "NO" TO VIOLENCE AND "YES" TO DEMOCRACY, TO CHOOSE BETTER, MORE CAPABLE AND MORE DEDICATED GOVERNORS." (SPANISH) 1.56 7. GV: SAMPER LEAVING VOTING PRECINCT 2.07 8. MV: VOTERS ARRIVING AT PRECINCT 2.11 9. MCU: CHRISTINE THOMPSON, REPRESENTATIVE OF ORGANISATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS) SAYING "I BELIEVE IT IS BETTER THAT WE ALL BE PRUDENT AND THAT THE NEGOTIATIONS FINISH AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE WITH A HAPPY ENDING." (SPANISH) 2.30 10. MV/CU: VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING (2 SHOTS) 2.42 11. CU: VOTER CLAUDIA ROJAS SAYS "I BELIEVE THE CITIZENS MUST EXPRESS OURSELVES SOMEHOW AND HELP STOP THIS WAR." (SPANISH) 2.50 12. MV/GV: VARIOUS OF VOTING (2 SHOTS) 2.59 Initials s.3.2 - p.3.2 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 10th November 1997 12:00
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia LATIN AMERICA
- Reuters ID: LVADHC2NZU8RWAFMVUE9C5NLQ61B
- Story Text: INTRO: Colombians have voted for their municipal representatives despite continued threats from leftist rebels to sabotage the elections.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombians braved the threat of bombs and bullets to vote in local polls on Sunday (October 26) as Marxist rebels pressed ahead with their bloody campaign of election sabotage.
The authorities predicted abstention levels as high as 70 percent, especially outside the major cities where the guerrillas have paralyzed most road transport with their so-called "armed strike". Officials have also warned voters to stay at home and declared election officials to be military targets.
The lead-up to this ballot has been marred by some of the worst ever election violence. The guerrillas forced more than 1,900 candidates to quit politics at gunpoint in more than 150 of a total 1,072 municipalities. They have kidnapped more than 200 other candidates and killed at least 40. Officially, however, voting will go ahead in all towns, the National Electoral Board said.
Colombian President Ernesto Samper, voting in Bogota on Sunday (October 26), urged people to vote for democracy and to give him the green light to fight against violence.
However the elections have done nothing to quell the violence which surged to new heights in the last week.
An official from the Organization of American States (OAS) said on Sunday that negotiations to free two observers kidnapped by rebels in Colombia have been temporarily suspended.
Secret talks between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were halted after a rebel attack on Saturday, in which a parish priest was killed. It happened near the area where the OAS observers were seized in northwest Antioquia province on Thursday.
Christine Thompson of the OAS said she hoped the situation would calm down very soon.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest rebel army, have promised a "total sabotage" of the elections which they have described as "distorted and manipulated by the oligarchies".
The smaller Cuban-inspired National Liberation Army (ELN) issued a communique Friday in which it urged voters not to back "any representative of the bourgeoisie since none represent the people's interests".
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None