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News > Colombia

Colombia: Four Social Leaders Killed in First Four Days of 2019

  • Wilmer Antonio Miranda was murdered Friday in Cauca, Colombia.

    Wilmer Antonio Miranda was murdered Friday in Cauca, Colombia. | Photo: Social media.

Published 5 January 2019

Campesino activist Wilmer Antonio Miranda and community leader Jose Rafael Solano were murdered in Cauca.

Colombian campesino activist Wilmer Antonio Miranda and Jose Rafael Solano, president of the Community Action Board (JAC), were fatally shot in the Cauca region Friday; the third and fourth social leaders murdered since January 1.


Two Colombian Social Leaders Lost in the First Days of the Year

According to the political movement Marcha Patriotica (Patriotic March), at 6 p.m. four men in civilian clothing approached Miranda and shot him repeatedly, killing him instantly.

Miranda was a member of the Association of Campesino Workers, affiliated to the national agrarian union, the Association of Campesino Reserve Zones, and the Coordinator for Coca, Poppy and Marijuana Growers.

According to the Sumapaz Foundation, 60-year-old community leader Jose Solano was killed by men who shot him in front of his family in his house. "The extermination of community leaders in Antioquia does not stop," tweeted the foundation.

Through social media, Colombians are demanding government action. One man tweeted “@IvanDuque your government and legislative bench should stop worrying so much about other people’s problems and solve the deaths of social leaders and people who are human rights leaders in Colombia… How many more have to fall before your eyes, sub-president?”

Another social media user called out the Public Prosecutor's Office: “With your ineffectiveness, you have become accomplices. As citizens with rights, we must mobilize to demand the resignation of the corrupt prosecutor.”

Legislator Ivan Cepeda lamented Miranda’s death. “The extermination of social leaders in Cauca continues,” he tweeted.

The first social leader to be killed was community leader Gilberto Valencia, a social entrepreneur, peacebuilder and cultural manager in the city of Suarez. Valencia was sitting with friends and family when an anonymous shooter fired at him.

The second death was that of Jesus Adier Perafan who was gunned down Wednesday in his grocery store.

No arrests have yet been made in relation to these cases. 

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