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News > Colombia

Colombia: Human Rights Groups Condemn Campesino Leader Murder

  • Demonstrators in Colombia protest in favor of the country's Campesino movement.

    Demonstrators in Colombia protest in favor of the country's Campesino movement. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 April 2019

Guzman is recognized as one of the historic leaders of the Colombian Campesino movement.

On Thursday, the Human Rights Network of the Colombian Southwest denounced the murder of social leader Policarpo Guzman in a rural area of the municipality of Argelia, in the department of Cauca, Colombia


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The Coordinator of Guarantees and Human Rights of the Patriotic March movement, Christian Delgado, reported that Guzman was found dead on his motorcycle with several bullet wounds to the head. 

The social leader had received threats from paramilitary groups, for which he was forced to leave the municipality of Argelia with his family. However, he returned two years ago.

Robbery was ruled out as a motive for the murder because his cell phone, motorcycle and cash were found on his person. 

Guzman was the founder of the Campesino Workers' Association of Argelia and led several social movements which advocate for human rights. For this reason, Guzman is recognized as one of the historic leaders of the Colombian Campesino movement.

"Pain has invaded the Fensuagrista family. Another exemplary Campesino leader snatched away from us. Comrade Polito, the Caucan people will never forget you. #PeaceShouldNotCostUsOurLives"

The social leader was also a member of the National Association of Campesino Reserve Zones, the Popular Unity Process of the Colombian Southwest, and the Social Coordination and Policy of the Cauca Patriotic March movement.

The Campesino Association of Inza Tierradentro condemned the crime, which adds to the long list of social leaders killed in Colombia, and whose cases remain unresolved. 

On April 9, a protest was held in Bogota to demand justice for the almost 600 social leaders murdered since 2016. The march was organized by the victims of armed conflict who have demanded that the government of Ivan Duque comply with the peace agreements between the Colombian government and the ex-guerilla group FARC-EP.

Previously, on April 6, more than 75 representatives of social movements in Colombia were present at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium to denounce the Duque government's failure to fulfill the 2016 peace agreement and address the systematic murder of social leaders.

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