Ten ex-FARC members and 46 social leaders killed so far this year in Colombia

Relatives of a social leader attend her wake in Puerto Tejada, Colombia in 2019.  (Photo: EFE)

Bogota, February 19 (RHC)-- The systematic killing of social leaders and former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) continues with impunity in Colombia, as two brothers - human rights defenders and campesino leaders - were killed Sunday in the southwest department of Cauca, raising the tally to 46 murdered in 2020.

“The aggression was carried out by several armed men. After this, it was already confirmed that the two victims led an organizational process in the area, a worrying aspect because it happens after the murder of an Indigenous leader in less than 24 hours,” Human Rights area Coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Municipalities of the Northern Cauca Mauricio Capaz said.

A representative of the National Federation of Unitary Agriculture Deivin Hurtado confirmed that men killed are social leaders and human rights defenders, brothers Albeiro and Luis Hugo Silva Mosquera.

One of them died in the medical center of this municipality and the other when he was taken to the Valle del Lili clinic in the city of Cali. The community was responsible for providing first aid after allegedly six armed men attacked the Silva brothers, injuring an Indigenous guard as well.

“We continue to regret this kind of situation, not only a family is in mourning, it is a whole community that cries the departure of people who actively participated in the protection and welfare of their territory, thus killing leaders who watched over the general welfare of farmers and Indigenous people, worrying that this will happen amid the high presence of the public force in the territories,” Hurtado added.

So far this year, 46 social leaders and 10 ex-FARC members have been killed, and according to a report from the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz), around 630 social leaders have been killed in Colombia, after the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016.


Edited by Ed Newman


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