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  • Social leader Carmen Angel Angarita in Convencion, Catatumbo, Colombia.

    Social leader Carmen Angel Angarita in Convencion, Catatumbo, Colombia. | Photo: Twitter/@CINEP_PPP

Published 24 June 2020
Opinion

Since the enforced quarantine, 54 social leaders have been killed in Colombia. 

Colombia’s Center for Research and Popular Education (CINEP) Tuesday announced the killing of social leader Carmen Angel Angarita in the rural region of Convencion, in northern Santander.

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“On Tuesday, June 23rd, Carmen Angel Angarita, president of the Community Action Board of the village El Hoyo was murdered in Convencion, Norte de Santander,” CINEP tweeted.

Villagers and witnesses said  that Angarita was nearby his domicile when armed men shot him to death. Local authorities stated that the reason for the killing has been undetermined thus far, but an investigation is taking place.

"Social leaders continue to be systematically murdered throughout the country, under the indifferent gaze of the government, which does not care about the massacre they commit against leaders in the country", Association for Catatumbo Farmers Unity (Asuncat) stated.

"Displacement reported due to threats to social and farmers' leaders in Catatumbo"
 

According to Colombia’s Institute for Development and Peace (Indepaz), Angarita’s assassination increased the death toll to 140. Since the enforced quarantine, 54 social leaders have been killed in Colombia. 

As CINEP said, Catatumbo and Convention inhabitants face a severe humanitarian crisis due to armed groups violence as well as President Ivan Duque’s inaction and lack of guarantees for farmers, community and indigenous leaders.

 National Confederation of Communal Action founder Guillermo Cardona relates attacks against social frontrunners to government forced crops elimination program.

In early June Mauricio Antonio Uribe, another community social leader was also killed in Catatumbo. Other Catatumbo municipalities’ inhabitants also alerted about uprising violence and life threats against social leaders, specifically in Tibu, El Tarra, and San Calixto.

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