Political murder Political killings Terrorism targeted against politicians
A person may be assassinated for what he represents politically, when a government or any grouping chooses to eliminate its political opponents physically rather than fight them otherwise. Cold-blooded murders may also be committed on members of a group as a solution to delicate political issues. (The same ends may be achieved by character assassination or blackmail).
In 1993 Amnesty International called attention to 800 political killings worldwide. In 1993 it was estimated 16,000 political killings in Colombia since 1980, excluding deaths in guerrilla combat, with 3,080 political murders in 1992 alone. Other estimates put the number at 9,000 political murders from 1990 to 1993. Jamaica saw its most violent campaign year in 1980, when 699 people were killed amidst a flurry of political assassinations.
The use of terror by individuals or groups is universally condemned, while its use by governments is defined as enforcement of the law. Definitions of terrorism are usually one-sided, referring to criminal acts directed against a state; but leaving out violent, repressive and oppressive actions of 'duly constituted' governments, including atrocities committed in violation such as the killing of civilians or the torture of prisoners.
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