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  • Photos of missing people mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Medellín, Colombia, August 2016.

    Photos of missing people mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Medellín, Colombia, August 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 July 2018

According to a new report, 80 percent of the people assassinated so far in 2018 were members of campesino or Indigenous organizations.

A report released by a group of social organizations has identified the 123 Colombian social leaders murdered between January 1 and July 4 this year.

Report: Colombian Authorities Complicit in 'Systematic' Violence Against Social Leaders

According to the report, entitled 'All The Names, All The Faces,' 80 percent of the people assassinated were members of campesino or Indigenous organizations.

About 13 percent had some connection to coca cultivation, particularly those working in crop substitution or protesting against forced eradication by the state.

Almost 15 percent of the victims were women. Over 30 were connected to the Revolutionary Alternative Force of The Commons (FARC), and many were affiliated to Marcha Patriotica, or Colombia Humana, which is Gustavo Petro's party.

The organizations behind the report include the Political and Social Coordination of the Marcha Patriotica; the Agrarian, Campesina, Ethnic and Popular Summit (Cacep), and the Institute of Peace and Development Studies (Indepaz).

A seperate report released Friday on assassinations in Colombia between 2002 and 2015 revealed that the majority of the deaths aren't related to Colombia's half-century internal armed conflict and said that state security forces played a central role in the violence.


The report highlights the following patterns: illegal surveillance by state intelligence agencies; unfounded criminalization through the penal justice system; extrajudicial killings by state forces; executions by paramilitary groups acting with the acquiescence of the state, and the use of excessive force by Colombia's Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron, commonly known as Esmad.  

"The struggle for access to land and natural resources, as well as for social justice and accountability, is behind the violence against those who challenge the power of economic and political elites," the report reads.

"However, the armed conflict is used as a pretext to justify and conceal this type of violence. Many murdered human rights defenders were presented as guerrilla fighters murdered in combat in the phenomenon called false positives."

Law collective Jose Alvear Restrepo wrote the report in collaboration with the European Center for Human and Constitutional Rights; the Judicial Corporation Yira Castro; the Interchurch Commission for Justice and Peace; the Interdisciplinary Group of Human Rights, and the Program We Are Defenders.

Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo was a human rights activist and national delegate for the Afro-Colombian, Raizal, Black and Palenquero Communities in their popular consults in Nariño. Source: Twitter 
'Orlando Gruesa, an ex-FARC member, was working to help campesinos in the region transition from growing illicit coca crops to cultivating alternatives. Source: Twitter Coccam


Ana Maria Cortes was a social leader and the coordinator of Gustavo Petro's presidential campaign in the city of Caceres.
Source: Twitter @HOLLMANMORRIS

Leaders Assassinated in Colombia Between January 4 and July 4, 2018:


Hector Everson Hernandez: Artist [January 4 - Bogota]


Alirio Sanchez: Indigenous leader [January 6 – Cauca]


Diana Luz Romero Mogales: Campesino leader [January 9 – Putumayo]


Diana Luz Solano: Indigenous leader [January 17 – Antioquia]


Victor Manuel Morato: Campesino leader [January 17 – Antioquia]


Jorge Yimmi Celis: Social leader [January 17 – Santander]


Plinio Pulgarin: Campesino leader, Marcha Patriotica [January 18 – Cordoba]


Luis Diaz Lopez: Indigenous leader [January 19 – Arauca]


Miller Diaz Lopez: Indigenous leader [January 19 – Arauca]


Leidy Xiomara Peña Naveo: Teacher and protester [January 19 – Arauca]


Victor Manuel Barrera: Union leader [January 21 – Arauca]


Jose Olmedo Obando: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [January 22 – Nariño]


Harley Johanny Mogollon Becerra: Campesino leader [January 22 – Arauca]


Fares Carabali Carbonero: Miner, union leader, Afro-Colombian community leader [January 23 – Cauca]


Jose Fernando Castillo: Afro-Colombian community leader [January 23 – Cauca]


Berber Valasquez Vitola: Community leader, dance teacher [January 24 – Antioquia]


Humberto Manuel Escobar Mercado: Land defender [January 25 – Sucre]


Prisciliano Manuel Mercado Garcia: Land defender [January 25 – Sucre]


Manuel Eusebio Osorio Escobar: Land defender [January 25 – Sucre]


Miguel Eduardo Parra Rondon: Campesino leader [January 25 – Santander]


Eleazar Tequia Bitucay: Indigenous leader [January 26 – Choco]


Mario Elias Carrascal Nader: Political leader, former mayor [January 26 – Cordoba]


Temistocles Machado: Afro-Colombian community leader, environmentalist [January 27 – Valle]


Nicomedes Payan: Community and political leader [January 29 – Caucasia]


Nixon Mutis Sossa: Campesino and human rights leader [January 30 – Bolivar]


Leidy Amaya Ramirez: Health activist [January 20 – Santander]


Antonio Maria Vargas Madrid: Campesino leader, Marcha Patriotica [January 31 – Cordoba]


Maria Yolanda Maturana: Campesino leader and environmentalist [February 1 – Rosaralda]


Diana Patricia Mejia Fonseca: Community leader and teacher [February 3 – Bogota]


Carlos Eduardo Melo Ramirez: Neighborhood leader [February 5 – Bogota]


Sandra Yaneth: Campesino organization leader [February 5 – Santander]


David Alexis Narvaez: Campesino leader, crop-substitution program participant [February 8 – Antioquia]


Jesus Orlando Grueso Obregon: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [February 9 - Cauca]


Jonathan Cundumi Anchino: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [February 9 – Cauca]


Deiver Quintero Perez: Community leader [February 11 – Santander]


Omar Arbey Martinez: Campesino leader [February 12 – Arauca]


Elkin Fabian Toro: Campesino leader [February 17 – Santander]


Cristian Camilo Toro Rodas: Community leader, running for local office [February 17 – Quindio]


Gaby Lili Ordonez: Teacher [February 19 – Cauca]


Flover Sapuyes Gaviria: Marcha Patriotica [February 23 – Caucasia]


Juan Emilio Abran Solano: Community leader [February 23 – Santander]


Cristian Emilio Jaimes Triana: Youth leader [February 26 – Santander]


Soneyda Figueroa Duarte: Public defender [February 26 – Putumayo]


Berlinda Gomez: Indiginous leader [February 27 – Meta]


Julio Cesar Urango Sanchez: Indiginous leader [March 1 – Antioquia]


Hermilsun Larraonda Rendon: Community leader [March 3 – Putumayo]


Eider Arley Campo Hurtado: Indigenous leader [March 5 – Cauca]


Luis Arturo Royet Campo: Campesino leader [March 6 – Cordoba]


Victor Hugo Martinez Barragan: Campesino leader, legal representative [March 6 - Santander]


Tomas Barreto Moreno: Afro-Colombian community leader [March 7 - Cordoba]


Juan Gabriel Pascal Taicus: 15-year-old Indigenous leader [March 17 – Nariño]


Luis Fernando Hernandez Hernandez: Indigenous leader [March 17 – Antioquia]


Juan Mena: Community leader [March 19 – Nariño]


Silvio Duban Ortiz: Afro-Colombian community leader with Afrodes [March 19 – Nariño]


Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz: Afro-Colombian community leader with Afrodes [March 19 – Nariño]


Jose Anibal Herrera: Campesino leader, human rights activist, Marcha Patriotica [March 20 – Antioquia]


Jose Alcides Ospina Arango: Campesino leader [March 22 – Caldas]


Lisandro Antonio Hernandez Triviño: Patriotic Union, Campesino leader [March 24 – Cauca]


Jose Wilson Escue Vitonco: Indigenous leader [March 25 – Cauca]


Victor Alfonso Zabaleta Oviedo: Campesino leader [March 25 – Antioquia]


Jorge Miguel Polanco Avila: Campesino leader [March 25 – Antioquia]


Israel Fajardo: Campesino leader [March 27 – Meta]


Maria Magdalena Cruz Rojas: Crop-substitution participant [March 30 – Meta]


Hector Janer Latin: Indigenous leader, environmentalist [March 30 – Cauca]


Belisario Benavidez Ordoñez: Social leader, victims justice activist [March 31 – Cauca]


Alvaro Perez: Campesino leader, Marcha Patriotica [April 4 – Santander]


Saul Mendieta: Community leader [April 4 – Atlantico]


Ferney Lozada: Union leader [April 3 – Caqueta]


Yovany Velasco Ariza: Campesino leader [April 7 – Guaviare]


Wilson Anulfo Quetama: Victims justice activist [April 8 – Choco]


Claudio Chaves: Campesino leader [April 9 – Choco]


Efren Zuñiga Dorado: Teacher, union member [April 14 – Cauca]


Obdulio Angulo Zamora: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [April 17 – Valle del Cauca]


Hermes Angulo Zamora: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [April 17 – Valle del Cauca]


Simeon Olave Angulo: Marcha Patriotica [April 17 – Valle del Cauca]


James Luis Jimenez Estrada: Campesino leader [April 20 – Antioquia]


Maria del Carmen Moreno: Community leader [April 28 – Arauca]


Hugo Albeiro George Perez: Campesino leader and environmentalist [May 2 – Antioquia]


Luis Alberto Torres Montoya: Campesino leader and environmentalist [Mary 5 – Antioquia]


Iber Antonio Angulo Zamora: Afro-Colombian community leader, Marcha Patriotica [May 5 – Valle del Cauca]


Harold Lerma Palacio: Campesino leader [May 13 – Nariño]


Ramon Ascue: Indigenous leader and environmentalist [May 14 – Cauca]


Pablo Emilio Moreno: Indigenous leader [May 17 – Nariño]


Felix Castañeda: Community leader [May 18 – Bolivar]


Yadira Sucerquia Macias: Campesino leader [May 19 – Cordoba]


Victor Correa: Miner [May 23 – Antioquia]


Cristian Andres Lozano: Union leader [May 23 – Valle del Cauca]


Luis Eduardo Dominguez: Union leader [May 23 – Valle del Cauca]


Gabriel Muñoz Muñoz: Campesino leader of Colombia Humana [May 26]


Pablo Emilio Dagua Taquinas: Indigenous leader [May 26 – Valle del Cauca]


Adriana Montero Parra: Indigenous leader  [May 26 – Valle del Cauca]


Jefferson Monroy: Campesino leader [May 28 – Caqueta]


Juvenal Silva: Campesino leader [May 28 – Caqueta]


Amilcar Yagari Siagama: Indigenous leader, former governor [May 28 – Valle del Cauca]


Dalmayro Reyes: Teacher and community leader [May 30 – Valle del Cauca]


Orlando Negrete: Campesino leader [June 2 – Cordoba]


Carlos Jimmy Prado Gallardo: Marcha Patriotica [June 4 – Nariño]


Julio Cesar Montalvo: Brother of Indigenous governor [June 2 – Cordoba]


Yeison Ramirez: Campesino leader [June 11 – Putumayo]


Francisco Jose Guerra Guerra: Community leader [June 11 – Antioquia]


Holman Mamian: Teacher [June 12 – Cauca]


Arnulfo Catimay Blanco: Indigenous leader [June 19 – Vichada]


Cristian Andrey Rodriguez Sanchez: Campesino leader [June 20 – Santander]


Luis Carlos Cabrera Segura: Community leader [June 20 – Caqueta]


Evelia Francisca Atencia Perez: Unionized teacher and member of Colombia Humana [June 21 – Guajira]


Hector Santiago Anteliz: Campesino leader [June 21 – Santander]


Janer Alberto Correa Arboleda: Campesino leader [June 23 – Santander]


Adrian Perez: Land defender [June 23 – Choco]


Jose Abraham Garcia: Campesino leader [June 25 – Antioquia]


Jamer Albeiro Idrobo Navia: Campesino leader [June 26 – Cauca]


Julio Cesar Sucerquia: Miner [June 27 – Antioquia]


Luis Erardo Fernandez Velasco: Indigenous leader, community leader and social worker [June 28 – Cauca]


Ivan de Jesus Lazaro Mazo: Marcha Patriotica [June 29 – Cordoba]


Leonedis Aleiser Sierra Ortiz: Campesino leader [July 2 – Antioquia]


Gabriel Adolfo Correa Chavestan: Green Party and Colombia Humana [July 2 – Cauca]


David Mejia Prieto: Campesino leader [July 2 – Caqueta]


Santa Felicinda Santamaria: Community and neighborhood leader [July 3 – Choco]


Luis Barrios Machado: Community leader [July 3 – Atlantico]


Margarita Estupiñan Uscategui: Community leader [July 4 – Nariño]


Ana Maria Cortez Mena: Colombia Humana [July 4 -Antioquia]


Ancisar Cifuentes: Social leader [July 4 – Tolima]


Francisco Dobigama: Indigenous leader [July 4 – Putumayo]


Dario Dobigama: Indigenous leader [July 4 - Putumayo]

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