On Tuesday, Colombia’s Institute for Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ) confirmed that a new massacre occurred in the Santo Domingo municipality in the Antioquia department, where three men and a woman were shot dead at their residency.
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While the woman's identity remains unknown, the men were identified as Victor Gomez, his son Luis, and 27-year-old Andres Ochoa, who were apparently fleeing armed violence in the Donmatias municipality.
So far, however, authorities do not know whether the victims had direct threats against their lives from any armed actor in the Antioquia department, where the Gulf Clan front Jorge Arboleda and the criminal gang El Mesa operate.
The Army and Police started preliminary investigations to find the culprits. To coordinate efforts that support their work, the Santo Domingo municipality Mayor Mario Monsalve convened a security council, which will be held on Wednesday afternoon.
“We will not only focus on finding perpetrators but also on unsettling the delusional structures to which they belong since our people will only have peace if the armed groups disappear,” Monsalve stated.
Over the last two weeks, INDEPAZ has reported five massacres in Colombia. The first occurred on Jan. 3 in the Jamundi municipality in the Valle del Cauca department, where three people were killed. On Jan. 6, three citizens were also murdered inside a house in Mani municipality in the Casanare department. In the banana-producing area of the Magdalena department on Jan. 8, two hitmen murdered three members of a family.
Soon after that massacre, armed men started indiscriminately shooting a neighborhood in the Colon Genova municipality in the Nariño department and left three people dead. On Jan. 14, paramilitary groups also killed three homeless citizens in the Miranda municipality in the Cauca department as part of their "social cleansing" plan.