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Colombia: 3 Social Leaders Murdered in the Last Few Hours

  • Benito Segundo Castillo Gutiérrez. Jul. 26, 2023.

    Benito Segundo Castillo Gutiérrez. Jul. 26, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@teleSURtv

Published 26 July 2023

"...the number of Colombian social activists murdered so far in 2023 rose to 97..."

On Tuesday, the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz) of Colombia denounced that during the last hours, three social leaders were assassinated in different regions of the country.

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With the most recent cases, the number of Colombian social activists murdered so far in 2023 rose to 97, and to 1,511 since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement, Indepaz remarked in several messages published on the social network Twitter.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) indicated that Benito Segundo Castillo Gutiérrez, 65 years old and recognized Wayúu indigenous leader, was killed Tuesday by a hitman in the Érica Beatriz neighborhood, municipality of Maicao, department of La Guajira, located in the extreme northeast of the South American country.

The independent media Camarada pointed out that the crime was committed around 01:20 local time (06:20 GMT), when the leader of the Wayuu community was talking with relatives and a man shot him from the fences of the house, "leaving him with serious wounds that caused his death".

In another tweet, Indepaz regretted the crime committed against Yesid Pechené Musicué, who was a member of the Indigenous Guard and worked in the Plan de Vida Proyecto Nasa marketing company. His father is a recognized member of the Guard or Kiwe Thegna, as it is called, he said.

Pechené Musicué "was killed with a firearm during the night (Monday) while he was on his way home in the village of Vichiquí, Loma Linda sector, in (the municipality of) Toribío, (department of) Cauca. His body was left on the side of the road," the NGO noted.

The third murder occurred in the early hours of Monday morning in the municipality of Segovia, department of Antioquia. The victim was Carlos Mario Roldán Díaz, an agrominero leader, who was attacked by an armed man when he was talking to the president of the Junta de Acción Comunal of the Arenales village.

Roldán Díaz was in charge of the humanitarian shelter in the village of Rancho Quemado de Segovia, where several families were forcibly displaced due to clashes between armed groups in the municipality of Segovia, explained Indepaz.

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