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News > Colombia

Antioquia: Colombia Counts 83rd Massacre of 2020

  • Colombia's Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo arrives in Caucasia, Antioquia following another massacre in Cuturú. December 13, 2020.

    Colombia's Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo arrives in Caucasia, Antioquia following another massacre in Cuturú. December 13, 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @mindefensa

Published 13 December 2020

Numerous massacres, assassinations of social leaders and of one former FARC combant were all recorded this week.

At dawn, a group of about 50 people with rifles raided in the Cuturú village, in the rural area of ​​Caucasia of Lower Cauca Antioquia. Three men were murdered while they conversed and five others, among them two women, were injured.


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As quoted by Noticias Caracol, Antioquia Police Commander Colonel Jorge Cabra indicated that armed men arrived at the scene in boats and wearing garments for the exclusive use of the police. According to reports from the community, the criminals came firing indiscriminately at the people who were at a gathering.

Two of the fatalities were not from the community and discovered in the main park, and the third was a miner found on the banks of the Cauca River, explained Colonel Cabra. Cuturú is a town that borders the Puerto Claver township in El Bagre. The Colombian Army and Police arrived at the location where the events occurred to investigate the causes of what happened.
With this massacre, Colombia has reached 83 massacres in 2020, 22 of which took place in the department of Antioquia. Indepaz reports the 349 people have been killed in these massacres, while hundreds or more have been left injured. Armed paramilitary groups such as the ‘Gulf Clan’ and ‘Los Caparros’ have a known presence in this area of ​​Lower Cauca.

According to a report by the Colombian Congress last August on the implementation of the 2016 Peace Accords, 16,190 people were displaced by violence in Colombia in the first six months of 2020, almost double the number during the same period in 2019.

The Lower Cauca subregion, in Antioquia, is one of the four areas of Colombia where displacement rates have been highest.

Unlike the more remote conflict regions of Arauca, Catatumbo, and Putumayo, the conflict zone around Caucasia is only a few hours' drive from the main city of Medellín.

At least four people were killed by firearm in the Bamba Arriba village, a rural area of El Bagre municipality, in Antioquia's Bajo Cauca on December 11 (massacre #81). On that same day, social leader and trainer with the National Network of Communal Women of Colombia, 25-year-old Elizabeth Betancur, was killed by gunshot wound in Yolombo, Antioquia.

Earlier in the week, human rights groups denounced the murder of social leaders  Elkin David Martelo Chacón (known as Danny Chacón) and Freddy Agustín Barragán, in events that occurred in different regions. Visible leader and advocate of the LGBTI community, Danny Chacón, was killed in Antioquia. Lawyer with the Ombudsman’s Office in the city of Cúcuta Agustín Barragán was fired on more than 17 times by hitmen on a motorcycle. He was traveling in a truck in the city center when he was killed.

Social leader Joaquin Antonio Ramirez was killed on December 6 in the Cauca region. Former FARC combatant Fernando Trochez Ulcue was assassinated on December 5, making him the 245th former combatant to be murdered since the signing of the Peace Accords. Numerous incidences of kidnappings, forced disappearances and forced displacement of Indigenous peoples have also been reported this week.


Ivan Duque
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