Since the start of 2020 on average, one social leader in Colombia is killed every other day as Friday marked the 84th killed social leader in the Latin American nation.
Colombia: Gunmen Kill Social Leader and Family Members in Cauca
According to local reports, on Friday as COVID-19 lockdown continues, armed men entered the home of Uenseslao Guerrero, community leader, killing him in the spot located in the violence-hit southwestern department of Cauca.
The mayor of Mercaderes Fernando Diaz has made a call to the local and national government urging them to put a stop to the killings in the department and to safe keep the lives of its inhabitants, especially those that are at risk for their work as human rights defenders.
This plea comes as Guerrero is the fifth death in the past couple of days in the area. On Wednesday, Community leader Alvaro Narvaez and three members of his family were killed by armed men as well.
As the systematic killing of social leaders in Colombia continues, Guerrero’s death marks the 84th in 2020.
According to a report from the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz), more than 710 social leaders have been killed in Colombia, after the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016.
“Colombia is the country with the highest rate of assassinations for human rights defenders,” United Nations Special Rapporteur Michel Forst warned in his report presented back in March.
The international organization's representative, who visited the South American nation in the late months of 2018 after a governmental invitation, highlighted the impunity on social leaders' assassinations and the lack of administrative preventive measures against the crimes.