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One hundred ten social leaders were murdered in the South American nation in 2022 and 1,337 violently lost their lives since the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016.
The Human Rights Office of the United Nations (UN) in Colombia condemned Wednesday the murder of peasant leader José Luis Quiñones, which occurred the day before in the municipality of Tamalameque, department of Cesar (north).
According to witnesses, unknown shooters took advantage of the fact that there was no electricity in the area, arrived at Quiñones' house, and shot him to death. Quiñones was leading land recovery processes.
In a statement released through social networks, the UN rejected the incident and said that the victim was a peasant leader, "defender of land and territory in Tamalameque and Río de Oro; delegate of the Interlocution Commission of the Center and South of Cesar, South of Bolívar, South of Magdalena and Santanderes (Cisbcsc)."
The UN office urged the Attorney General's Office to thoroughly investigate the incident and the National Protection Unit (UNP) to protect the lives of other platform members. nIt also recalled that Quiñones had received death threats for previous land recovery processes, an initiative of which two other leaders murdered in the south of Cesar last February, Teofilo Acuña and Jorge Tafur, were part.
José Luis Quiñones 02/08/22 Tamalameque, Cesar
Integrante de La Comisión de interlocución del Sur de Bolívar, Norte y Sur del Cesar, afiliado a la Asociación Nacional Campesina, CNA. El líder se encontraba en un proceso de recuperación de tierras en la finca Mata Redonda. pic.twitter.com/ho6fHFAu0k
Jose Luis Quinones 02/08/22 Tamalameque, Cesar Member of the Interlocution Commission of the South of Bolívar, North and South of Cesar, affiliated with the National Peasant Association, CNA. The leader was in the process of recovering land on the Mata Redonda farm.
The news of the crime against Quiñones was confirmed by the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz), a platform that specified that with his violent death, there are now 110 social leaders murdered in Colombia so far in 2022 and 1 337 since the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016.
Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, Juliette De Rivero, assured us that the militarization of the territories by the government of Iván Duque had not stopped the expansion of illegal armed groups and the resurgence of violence.
According to the UN office, between 2016 and 2021, there were 562 cases of murders of human rights defenders in Colombia. Between January and June of this year, they received 114 reports of such killings, of which it has verified 22 and another 67 cases are in that process.