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  • Protester with a sign that reads

    Protester with a sign that reads "Being a Social Leader is not a crime." | Photo: @HernanTeleSUR

Published 21 June 2020
Opinion

Gracelito Micolta was a member in the community council of Alto Guapi.

Another social leader was murdered in Colombia in the southwestern department of Cauca, local media informed Sunday, marking the 138th in 2020 alone according to the Institute for Development and Peace.

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Gracelito Micolta was a member in the community council of Alto Guapi. Local reports said he was traveling in canoe to participate in a city meeting when he was intercepted by alleged irregular military groups in the Cerda locality. Micolta was then killed by the para-military forces.

His death is associated with the presence of members of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) and an organized crime group dedicated to drug trafficking, along with other irregular military organizations operating in the area.

"What happens in Cauca responds to the logic of a department where territorial conflicts have historically occurred, with private legal and illegal sectors such as mining," Indepaz said in a report on the matter.

So far, the number of social leaders murdered in Colombia has increased by 53 percent, most of them amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, as reported by Ideas For The Peace Foundation (FIP).

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