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  • Exteriors of the place where Oneida Epiayu was killed in Riohacha, Colombia, Oct. 17. 2019.

    Exteriors of the place where Oneida Epiayu was killed in Riohacha, Colombia, Oct. 17. 2019. | Photo: Twitter / @prensanorte

Published 18 October 2019

At least 234 social activists have been killed since President Ivan Duque took office on Aug. 7, 2018....

Colombian human rights defender Alirio Uribe Muñoz on Thursday announced that three indigenous leaders were killed, which means that 234 social activists have been killed since President Ivan Duque took office on August 7, 2018.

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The people killed were Oneida Epiayu, who died in Riohacha in La Guajira; Lilia Patricia Garcia, who died in the Watsalpi territory in Nariño; and Constantino Ramirez, a leader of the Embera people.

These cases were confirmed by the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), which recalled that Ramirez was a founder of the Regional Indigenous Organization of Quindio (Oriquin).

Before being killed, Epiayu, a female lawyer, had reported alleged acts of corruption at the food programs which are being carried out by the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF).

"President Ivan Duque: Does the extermination of indigenous leaders across the country not deserve a statement from the government? They killed Constantino Ramirez (Embera) in Quindio, Oneida Epiayu (Wayuu) in Guajira, Lilia Garcia in Nariño and Toribio Canas in Nariño. Until when?"

The Indigenous lawyer was killed while she was having lunch with her family in a restaurant where two gunmen shot her at close range.

"Someone who was there said that a police patrol had passed by very slowly and, soon after, two subjects aboard a black motorcycle arrived," local media El Heraldo reported.

According to the Ombudsman's Office statistics, 196 social leaders and human rights defenders have been killed in Colombia from March 2018 to May 2019.

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