Media Center

Press Release

OAS and Colombia Sign Observation Agreement for October 30 Elections

  October 7, 2011

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, and the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the hemispheric organization, Ambassador Luis Alfonso Hoyos, today signed an agreement in which the continental institution will send an Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) for the elections of governors, mayors, councilor, delegates, and local authorities, being held in the south American country on October 30.

During the ceremony of the agreement relating to the privileges and immunities of the observers, Secretary General Insulza asserted that “we know the importance Colombia has acquired in the region and making this process work well has for us an international projection of great importance.”

Secretary General Insulza emphasized the initiative of focusing this EOM on the participation of women and the youth during the elections, an aspect in which the OAS is developing a pilot. “We are very proud of the quality of the elections in our continent and we recognize that the electoral system is evolving each time more positively,” he said.

Ambassador Hoyos thanked the support of the OAS, of the Secretary General, and of the countries that technically and financially endorse the Mission, which “is fundamental for this task to continue in strengthening institutionalism, transparency and democracy.”

The Secretary General appointed Beatriz Paredes as Chief of Mission, a Mexican politician who has held positions at the head of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), governor of the state of Tlaxcala, President of the Latin American Parliament, and Ambassador of Mexico in Cuba.

The OAS will deploy international observers in 16 departments of the country. The group will include a base of experts in areas such as electoral organization, electoral legislation, press, coordination of observers, political analysis, and logistics.

Also present at the event, which took place in the office of the Secretary General in Washington, DC, were the President of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Guyana, Ambassador Bayney R. Karran; the Secretary for Political Affairs of the OAS, Victor Rico; and the Permanent Representatives of Belize, Canada, El Salvador and Guatemala.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-884/11