"We condemn the homicide today in Arauquita of the filmmaker Mauricio Lezama, director of cinema of the department of Arauca and promoter of rights of youth, culture and peace," said the Colombia Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The police inspector of Arauquita, Jose Gregorio Orduz, said the incident occurred Thursday afternoon on a public road in the village of La Esmeralda, when several unknown armed people shot the filmmaker who died instantly.
The attack left another person wounded, Ricardo Llain, who was taken to the hospital in Arauquita.
The director and film producer was in the municipality making a documentary about the victims of violence with funding from an award that was granted by Proimagenes Colombia in the category of "regional stories."
Senator Sandra Ramirez, of the FARC party, spoke out against the murder.
"I condemn the assassination of the filmmaker Mauricio Lezama in Arauca. Why do they persecute and kill those who want to tell about the conflict, what do they gain by killing an artist?" The politician added, "the humanitarian crisis and the absence of the state in deep Colombia are serious," said Ramirez.
The UN Office of Human Rights warned Friday of the sharp increase in the number of social leaders killed in Colombia. Already there have been 51 cases registered in the first four months of 2019.
"We are alarmed by the shocking number of activists murdered, harassed or threatened in Colombia, and the fact is that this terrible trend seems to get worse," said the spokesman of the United Nations Office of Human Rights, Rupert Colville.
The UN agency, which monitors the situation in Colombia through its country office, compared the number of victims since the beginning of the year with 115 registered in all of 2018 when it became evident that the situation of murdered activists in western departments of Colombia had worsened.
In 2015, 41 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed. The following year, 61 activists suffered violent deaths.
The activists who are targets of violence defend the most diverse causes and among them have been leaders of the Afro-Colombian community, Indigenous people, campesinos, LGBTQ, and women's rights activists.