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News > Colombia

Killings of Social Activists Continues in Colombia

  • Young man holds up a sign that says,

    Young man holds up a sign that says, "Being a social leader is not a crime" during a protest in Bogotá, Colombia, April, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 May 2020

From January 1st to April 30th, at least 84 social activists were murdered in Colombia.

Colombian social leader Carlos Andrés Sánchez Villa, was killed by armed men on a road in the rural area of Tibú, in the department of Norte de Santander, located in northeastern Colombia.


Bolivarian Armed Forces Reject Terrorist Incursion Attempt

The crime was perpetrated by two men on a motorcycle, who opened fire on the truck in which the activist was riding, according to the Center for Thought on Armed Conflict, Peace and Post-Conflict.

Sánchez Villa was vice-president of the Community Action Board of the village of La Raya, in the region of Catatumbo.

It is not known if there was a previous threat against his life. A judicial commission was sent to investigate the murder.

"Colombia: Five Social Leaders Assassinated in Less Than 24 Hours. Cauca's department is presented as the most besieged in the country in recent days, with more than 16 social leaders and human rights defenders murdered so far in 2020."

Human rights defender Gustavo Enrique Mestre condemned the murder of the social leader in a message posted on Twitter.

"On May 4, 2020, at kilometer 18 of the road from the municipal seat of Tibú to La Gabarra, Carlos Andrés Sánchez, vice president of the Community Action Board of the Vereda Caño Raya, was murdered by several shots," he wrote.

According to the most recent count prepared by the Institute for Peace and Development Studies, 84 social activists were murdered in Colombia between January and April 30.

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