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  • Colombia: Another Farmer Leader Killed After Being Tortured

    | Photo: Twitter/ @Paola_teleSUR

Published 27 June 2019

The Gulf Clan is believed to have executed a farmer's association militant in the Department of Cordoba.

Manuel Gonzalez Segura, a member of the Farmer's Association of Southern Cordoba (ASCSUCOR), was found dead on Thursday morning in the Montelibano municipality, department of Cordoba, in Colombia.

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The farmer, who left home to shop, disappeared starting Wednesday afternoon; the next day his body appeared with his hands tied and with traces of torture and gunshot wounds.

The Colombian farmer organization denounced that some of his belongings were returned, apparently, by a member of the "Gulf Clan," a transnational drug trafficking cartel which is involved with the far-right paramilitary Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces (AGC).

Gonzalez was one of the beneficiaries of the Substitution of Illicit Crops National Program (PNIS), whereby the Colombian state has been trying to eradicate 100,000 hectares of coca crops.

The PNIS is part of the "integral rural reform" which was agreed upon in the Havana Peace Agreement. The said initiative has been partial and unsuccessfully implemented in the Cauca Valle.

In this region, President Ivan Duque administration has not yet managed to prevent paramilitary armed groups from maintaining control of the territories where coca leaves are planted.

"They assassinate Manuel Gregorio Gonzales, a beneficiary and leader of the Substitution Plan, in Cordoba." The signs read, "They are killing us for thinking differently."

Less than a week ago, on June 22, another Colombian land rights leader, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, was also murdered after being threatened in a pamphlet circulated by the AGC paramilitary forces.

Prior to her assassination, Freiman Baicue and Uver Ney Villano, two leaders of the Farm Workers Association of the Municipality of Corinto (ASTRAZONAC), were murdered in the Cauca Valley as they were having lunch at a food court.

Due to the population's fear to denounce criminal acts involving right-wing and narco groups, the figures of violence against Colombian social leaders are difficult to compile.

According to the Ombudsman Carlos Alfonso Negret's records, 479 social leaders were murdered and 982 were threatened between April 2018 and April 2019.

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