On Sunday, October 29, 2023, Colombian society will hold elections for the 32 governors’ offices and departmental assemblies and the 1,102 mayors’ offices and their councils. Historically, election time has generated threats, attacks and even assassination of candidates by violent sectors.
This year, according to VOA news, at least 26 candidates have been assassinated, 106 suffered threats, 20 suffered an attack and 152 were victims of electoral violence.
But amid all the violence that the social, political, economic, cultural and armed conflict has brought for more than 60 years, Colombians do not lose hope that they can change history. August 20 marked the first year of the Historical Pact government (the first progressive government in the history of Colombia) where a historic 58% of the population turned out to vote. That referendum has encouraged social leaders in the country to present themselves as candidates in these elections and continue pushing changes from their regions. Among these candidates are leaders that CPT accompanies, who have already received threats on many occasions for their work in defense of a dignified life. They now have increased their level of risk but continue hoping that genuine change is possible. As the saying goes in Colombia, “There are more of us who are good.”
We invite you to pray for the transformation of the hearts of violent actors who believe violence is the best way to get what they want.
And pray for the brave women and men who rise up every day with the strength to struggle for a country and a world where justice and love reign.