Photo: Violence in Colombia
Jaime Chazatar, mayor-elect of the Colombian municipality of Santa Cruz-Guachaves in the southwestern province of Nariño, was murdered Saturday by unknown persons, officials said.
“This morning two unknown persons gunned down in front of his home the mayor-elect of Santa Cruz-Guachaves, Jaime Chazatar,” who would have taken office this Sunday, Fabio Trujillo, the Nariño provincial government secretary, told Efe.
Chazatar, a member of the Pastos ethnicity, was elected with the support of the Indigenous Authority of Colombia, or AICO, in the balloting for mayors and regional governors last Oct. 30.
Authorities are investigating the slaying, Trujillo said, while indigenous spokesman Servio Bernal assured reporters that the incident will not spark violence in the community.
He said that the politician’s death saddens the Indians of Nariño province on the Ecuadorian border.
A report by the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) published last October said that up to that month it had documented the murders of 41 candidates for mayor and governor.
Elected in last October’s voting were 1,102 mayors, 32 governors, 12,063 councilors, 418 regional legislators and 4,627 members of local administrative boards.
Except in certain cases, those elected will take office this Sunday for a period of four years.