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News > Latin America

Colombian Village Mourns Loss of Yet Another Community Leader

  • The 37-year-old community leader was a pillar in the town as president of the Association of Peasants of Toledo.

    The 37-year-old community leader was a pillar in the town as president of the Association of Peasants of Toledo. | Photo: Twitter @AscatNa

Published 22 March 2018
Opinion

Campesino leader Jose Herrera of Puerto Valdivia was found dead in the department of Filadelfia and the city of Ituango.

The Colombian city of Puerto Valdivia is mourning the loss of another social leader, Jose Herrera, whose body was found Thursday in Antioquia after he was reported missing two days ago.

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Colombia: Another Social Activist Shot to Death

The 37-year-old community leader stood as a pillar in the town as president of the Association of Peasants of Toledo (ASCAT-NA) and a member of the Organization of Valdivia.

"It is with profound sorrow that we are pained to report that today campesino leader Jose Herrera of Puerto Valdivia Norte de Antioquia was found dead in the department of Filadelfia and the city of Ituango," the ASCAT-NA wrote on Twitter.

Authorities say the cause of death is still being determined.

However, the consistent threat against campesino, activist and social leaders continues to threaten rural communities. Earlier this week, Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz, son of human rights activist Bernardo Cuero, was murdered within a year of his father.

Killed on Monday, Bernardo and his family were walking near a relative's store when he was gunned down by two people riding a motorcycle. The gunmen killed the activist and his family immediately, wounding another person as well.

Also on Monday, President of the Action Committee of the Municipality of Alamos Juan Mena was reported murdered in Quibdo, Choco. Mena was killed walking in public by armed men who approached and shot him multiple times. The identities of the gunmen – who fled the scene and remain at large – are still unknown.

Public Prosecutor's Office records from 2017 show 441 attacks, including 121 murders: 84 human rights defenders, 23 members of social and political movements and 14 people killed during demonstrations.

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