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  • Farmers dennounce illicit crops forced dismantling in Corinto's path, Cauca, Colombia. June 3, 2020.

    Farmers dennounce illicit crops forced dismantling in Corinto's path, Cauca, Colombia. June 3, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@danna_ediciones

Published 4 June 2020
Opinion

According to the Ascobac communication, Montiel’s disappearance and assassination are similar to community leader John Restrepos’ killing on April 29.

Colombia's many human rights organizations denounced Wednesday the assassination of two social leaders 

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Low Cauca Farmers’ Association (Asocbac) said that Juan Gabriel Atenio Montiel was last seen on Tuesday, heading to work at Napoles company. After a detailed search, other farmers found his corpse on Wednesday morning in La Cucana’s proximities. 

According to Ascobac communication, Montiel’s disappearance and assassination are similar to community leader John Restrepos’ demise on April 29. Restrepo has not been found so far and there are no leads on his possible abduction.

"As a social and farming organization in the lower Cauca, we have alerted in different scenarios and communications, the very serious crisis that continues to bleed our municipality. However, we have not found help in the Municipal Mayor's Office, nor the government of Antioquia, nor the government of Ivan Duque to help us mitigate all the phenomena of violence that we complain about,” Ascobac expressed. 

"The forced and violent eradication of illicit crops in Catatumbo is a serious human rights violation and worsens the severe social and humanitarian crisis in the region."

For its part, the Colombian Institute for Peace and Development Studies (Indepaz) said community leader and human rights defender Julio Humberto Moreno Arce’s was murdered on Wednesday morning. As the organization briefed, locals found the body between the village of La Balsa and the municipality of Santander de Quilichao, Cauca.

Colombia Ombudsman Office recently warned about human rights violations and international infractions on Cauca region, due to the presence of armed groups.

So far, in 2020, over 120 social leaders have been killed in Colombia, most of them in Cauca. Also, several social organizations report collateral victims as social leaders’ relatives and. 

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