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  • The Techinical Investigation Body (CTI) at the scene of a killing.

    The Techinical Investigation Body (CTI) at the scene of a killing. | Photo: Twitter / @PrensaRural ·

Published 20 September 2020
Opinion

There have been 11 massacres in Colombia since the start of September according to Indepaz.

At least seven people were killed today in a massacre in the municipality of Buenos Aires, department of Cauca, Colombia as denounced by the Red por la Vida de los Derechos Humanos de Cauca (Network of Life of Human Rights of Cauca). 

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The Network says this is the ninth massacre to occur in Cauca department since the start of the year, bringing the total number of massacre victims to 35. So far in September, there have been 11 massacres around Colombia.

“We do not accept from any point of view, the statements of the National Government and of the Attorney General of the Nation where they classify these massacres as ‘collective murders’, we consider these statements as media distractions in order to not assume political responsibility before a situation that is out of the hands of the national government,” it said in a statement on Sunday.

The human rights network demands that the government and attorney general advance the pertinent investigation processes with the aim of clarifying the acts and demands that victims not be stigmatized in order to justify the massacres as they have been.

According to the Instituto de Estudios Para el Desarrollo y La Paz (Indepaz), the largest number of massacres have taken place in the departments of Antioquia (14), Cauca (9), Nariño (8) and Norte de Santander (6). Some municipalities along the border with Ecuador have even seen three massacres, according to information as of September 18, 2020.

A massacre, or what the government calls “collective murders,” are when three or more people are killed at once. The majority of these crimes have taken place in rural areas.

Social leaders have been among those targeted in rural area violence, as well as former combatants of the demobilized FARC, who gave up their weapons following the 2016 Peace Accords with the Colombian government, only to see Duque abandon the agreements.

On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a brief visit with President Ivan Duque where they discussed matters in a number of areas, relating nearly all of them back to Venezuela and Washington’s agenda which seeks to oust the democratically elected government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

Despite the talking points on ‘human rights’ in Venezuela, the two made no mention of Colombia’s own human rights crisis, or the attacks on civil liberties in the United States, where anti-racist organizers have been targeted, rounded up by U.S. security forces and jailed for their activism following the killing of Black American George Floyd.

Young Colombians also mobilized in the streets earlier this month in response to the torture and killing, by police, of Javier Ordoñez in Bogota.

The gruesome assault which was captured on video, was widely seen and led to mass protests against police terror in the capital and around the country, resulting in further aggressions by Ivan Duque’s security forces including at least 13 deaths.

Eight of the people killed during protests were young people between 17 and 27 years old, Bogota's Mayor Claudia Lopez explained.

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