The first victim was identified as Pedronel Sanchez, an activist of the Puerto Guzman municipality who belonged to the Community Action Board of Las Perlas neighborhood.
"The assassins arrive at his home at 06:40 and shoot him without exchanging a word. Within minutes, he lost his life in front of his family," lamented Yuri Quintero, the political coordinator of the Putumayo's Human Rights Network.
The second victim was identified as Jesus Ruiz, a bus driver based in La Playa neighborhood in the Puerto Caicedo municipality. He was killed on the banks of the Putumayo River. So far, the identity of these crimes' perpetrators remains unknown.
A 14-year-old Indigenous activist in Colombia was killed after reportedly being ambushed while protecting Indigenous land.
At least 145 rights defenders in the country were killed in 2021, says a govt count, including Indigenous leaders, farmers & union organizers.
Quintero stressed that most murders in the Putumayo department obey disputes of paramilitary groups, which extort the population to gain new territories for their drug trafficking and illegal mining activities.
Local authorities reiterated the need for accompaniment from the Defense Ministry to fight these crimes. Quintero, however, considered that such a situation cannot be counteracted by militarization alone.
"Our law enforcement agencies have a negative concept of security. So they won't be able to stop these armed groups' violence, which is systemic," he stated and urged the intervention of international agencies to solve the conflict.