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News > Latin America

Colombian Activist Plinio Pulgarin Killed by Paramilitaries as Forced Displacements Continue

  • One Colombian family stands outside their home after being forced out by Paramilitary forces in San Pedrito.

    One Colombian family stands outside their home after being forced out by Paramilitary forces in San Pedrito. | Photo: TeleSur- Lorena Hoyos

Published 19 January 2018

The social leader's death rocked the town, however, the morning's violence was only the beginning of the day's events.

On Thursday another Colombian social activist, Plinio Pulgarin, was killed by paramilitaries in the department of Cordoba, a region rife with a continued displacement of families.

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A social pillar and a promoter of voluntary replacement of illicit crops for legal products in the community, Pulgarin worked as the president of the Community Action Board of San Pedrito. The news of his death, which took place in the wee hours of Thursday morning, has rocked the town creating fear that more incidents could occur in the coming days. 

Also fueling fear in the community is the continued forced displacement of families in the region. Within hours of Pulgarin's murder, paramilitary forces barged into homes and displaced at least 70 families.

Activist Andres Chica denounced the forced eradication by paramilitaries, recounting the experience of another community activist who was targeted and harassed by militia in the midst of the fray.

"Mr. Plinio Pulgarín was the coordinator of that area in advancing all the supplies for the respective substitution, just like Mrs. Diana Dorado,” Chica said.

“In the early hours of today (Thursday, January 18), armed men, unknown until now, arrive in Plinio and told Mrs. Diana Dorado that they were giving her half an hour to leave,” he said, adding that the militia corralled the rest of the community and told the congregations of over 50 families they had to leave their homes by noon that day.

Since the evacuation of Colombia guerrilla groups, such as the FARC and the ELN in the wake of the Peace Agreements, illegal paramilitary groups have flooded into the regions and continue to enact violence against rural communities.

Over the last year, hundreds of social activists, indigenous leaders, and former guerilla militia have fallen victim to Colombia’s violence which human rights groups have denounced as government negligence towards the terms of the peace accords continues.

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