Colombia: deadly FARC ambush on gubernatorial candidate

Right-wing gubernatorial candidate José Pérez Restrepo in Colombia’s southeastern Guaviare department was wounded in the leg and three of his bodyguards killed Feb. 14 when presumed FARC guerillas attacked his election caravan in an apparent kidnapping attempt. Media reports said the politician was taken captive by the rebels, but freed when police and soldiers came to the scene. Two police officers were also killed in the shootout.

The attack came as Colombia prepares for legislative elections in March and a presidential vote in May. President Alvaro Uribe has still not said if he wants to run again for what would be an unprecedented third term in office. The incident shows that the FARC still has the capacity to launch major attacks despite Uribe’s US-backed military campaign aimed at destroying the group. (AlJazeera, Colombia Reports, Feb. 14)

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