BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.
To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.
To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.
BOGOTA, Colombia-Candidates in Colombia's local elections in October will be able to buy insurance to cover them against any campaign-season injury, disability, assassination and burial expenses.
State-owned insurer La Previsora Cia. de Seguros is offering the policy over a two-month period before the elections for city mayors, city councils and departmental governors.
The coverage offer comes as a result of threats from leftist guerrilla groups and paramilitary organizations operating throughout Colombia to disrupt the elections and kill candidates and voters.
La Previsora is offering insurance coverage with limits of 50 million Colombian pesos ($50,000) for a premium of 70,000 Colombian pesos ($70) to all of the candidates, says Augusto Jimenez, vp of La Previsora in Bogota. The insurance also includes a sublimit of 3 million Colombian pesos ($3,000) for burial expenses.
For the past three months, Colombia's two main guerrilla groups, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas and Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional, have said they will not permit any election campaigns in the areas of their influence and will shoot all candidates.
The paramilitary organizations, which are fighting the guerrillas throughout Colombia, replied that they will shoot any leftist candidate who stands for election in the areas they control.
About 30,000 homicides are reported in Colombia annually, a murder rate four times that of the United States. According to the Presidential National Security Council, in recent years guerrillas, on average, have assassinated one city mayor and three council members every three months and have kidnapped two mayors and a council member every two months.
This year, however, six mayors have been killed, and 20 have been killed over the past year and a half.
The conflict between the leftist rebels and the paramilitary groups has bought the country to the brink of civil war, said Alfredo Rangel Suarez, an academic and former member of the National Security Council.
Speaking last month in London at a conference on Colombia organized by the University of London, Mr. Rangel said that in Colombia there are now four types of municipalities: those under the guerrillas' control, those in the control of the paramilitary organizations, those controlled by the national military and those under dispute.
La Previsora traditionally has insured public transport vehicles, a frequent target for the armed groups, and has provided life insurance for the armed forces. Insurance executives in Bogota noted, however, that the coverage is made possible with the help of government subsidies rather than as a commercial venture.
Mr. Jimenez was unable to say whether the present life insurance will be in place for the presidential and congressional elections next year.
Three candidates were assassinated in Colombia's 1990 presidential elections, including the front-runner, Luis Carlos Galan. The late Mr. Galan's cousin, Alfonso Valdivieso, until recently the country's prosecutor general, is a front-runner for the 1998 presidential elections. The other front-runner is Horacio Serpa, who until recently was the country's interior minister.
Messrs. Valdivieso and Serpa resigned their posts in May to fight the presidential elections.
A campaign fund-raising scandal arising from President Ernesto Samper's 1994 election has plunged Colombia into a political and economic crisis and resulted in a deterioration of the country's internal security, speakers at the London conference said.