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News > Latin America

Colombia Scores 38 Deaths of Social Leaders So Far This Year

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "No more deaths in Cauca", Popayan, Colombia, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 March 2021

Activists warn of a wave of violence in the Valle del Cauca region where eight people were killed in the last week.

Colombian human rights defenders on Monday reported the murder of Carlos Vidal, who was president of the Castilla Harvest Workers Union (Sintracos) in the Valle del Cauca department.  


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Vidal was a well-known union leader in the Florida municipality. Hired killers attacked him and shot him dead near his home. 

"We protest such a cowardly murder and express solidarity with his family and colleagues. Rest in peace," community groups said.

Police investigate the events as there is no information about the motive of the crime or possible perpetrators. 

The Institute for Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ) warned that Vidal is the 38th social leader killed so far this year. 

The Valle's Progressive Generation group also lamented Vidal's murder while urging Colombia's President Ivan Duque to address the "wave of violence" affecting the region in the last few weeks. 

On March 27, the "Los Flacos" gang murdered four people in the Cartago municipality in northern Valle, and at least three people were also killed in Villacolombia located in Jamundi.


Carlos Vidal
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