International Crisis Group has warned that illegal armed groups in Colombia will try to expand their power in upcoming local government elections, and released a list of recommendations for bodies involved in the elections.
The campaign group warned that the high number of murders of candidates in the run-up to the October 2011 local elections is a sign that the "decade-old trend of decreasing electoral violence could be reversed."
International Crisis Group (ICG) called on political parties to rigorously screen candidates and discard any with suspected links to illegal groups, such as the paramilitaries. It said that both parties and candidates should public their records of campaign donations.
Among the recommendations ICG made to the government were to release funds so that a planned biometric voter identification system can be used in the upcoming elections.
The report highlights the difference in approach between guerrilla groups, which tend to sabotage elections, and paramilitary groups, which focus on infiltrating government to gain access to resources.
See the entire list of recommendations here.