Campaign billboard near Cucuta (Photo: Jose Gregorio Ortega campaign)

A candidate for Colombia’s May 25 congressional elections has been kidnapped in the northeast of the country, the politician’s party said Wednesday.

According to the MIRA party, aspiring House Representative Jose Gregorio Botello is held by undiclosed kidnappers to force a fellow-candidate to withdraw her bid to the congressional seat.

Senator Carlos Baena of Mira told press that his party’s campaign manager received a phonecall in which “they gave 48 hours to the current House Representative for [the capital] Bogota and leader of the movement’s Senate list, Gloria Stella Diaz, to renounce her candidacy or else the life of Mister Botello would be taken.”

According to MIRA, Botello was kidnapped from his home in the city of Cucuta on the border with Venezuela.

The party called on the national government and competent authorities “to take all the necessary measures.”

The MOE, Colombia’s main electoral observation NGO, rejected the kidnapping and said “actions like this cloud the developing electoral process.”

The electoral observers also urged authorities to clarify the alleged kidnapping.

Cucuta, Norte de Santander


  • Press release MOE
  • Press release MIRA

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