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  • Dilio Corpus Guetio, a Campesino leader was murdered in Colombia, making it 17th murder in 2019.

    Dilio Corpus Guetio, a Campesino leader was murdered in Colombia, making it 17th murder in 2019. | Photo: Twitter / @Paola_teleSUR

Published 30 January 2019

Another social leader was assassinated in Colombia making this the 17th death in 2019, study shows the killing of social leaders is systematic. 

A Colombian Campesino leader Dilio Corpus Guetio, 44,  who was a member of Asocordillera (Mountain Area Association of Campesino Workers) and also a member of the local Campesino Guard militia was shot to death Tuesday.

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Corpus Guetio left his home in the municipality of Suarez in the department of Cauca, in southwest Colombia, at around six in the morning for work. On the way armed men from a car shot him several times.

"The murderers were in a van which hit him and made him lose control of his bike. At that point, they got out of the car to get close to Dilio, who was already injured and he was shot repeatedly, killing him,” said a representative from the United National Federation of Agricultural Unions (FENSUAGRO).

Studies for Development and Peace, Indepaz, say that within the 29 days of 2019, 16 social leaders have been killed in Colombia, excluding Corpus Guetio.

Dilio was known for his work monitoring rural areas and protecting the territory and its inhabitants. His murder case has been registered in the village of Santa Barbara, his place of work.

This week another community leader from Cuca, Jose Jair Orozco, 52, was also assassinated.

“# Urgent The @ Reddhfic denounces the murder of social leader human rights defender Dilio Corpus Guetio, member of the Campesino association, Asocordillera Fialuagro-Cauca, today in the municipality of Suarez. Stop the genocide. Stop the killing!”

Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez said in early January that the greatest number of Colombians murdered over the past two years since the signing of the peace agreement have been social leaders who serve on Communal Action Boards (JAC).

JACs began in the 1950s and are local-level councils where citizens decide upon, plan and develop community projects based on their own needs. The majority of JACs are in rural areas and members include mainly low-income Campesino, Indigenous, and Afro-Colombian members of society.

According to Martinez, the assassinations of JAC leaders is "passively systematic." The attorney general said that those responsible are paramilitary groups “such as the “Gulf Clan” that works on behalf of narco traffickers and “Los Caparrapos" he added.

Indigenous people made up 13 percent of those killed and farmers 10 percent. Union leaders and social leaders, Afro-Colombians and LGBTI population were the other main murder victims.

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