Murders of social leaders grow 85% in Colombia

Photo: Prensa Latina
Photo: Prensa Latina

In the first half of 2020, 183 acts of violence against political, social and community leaders have been registered.

During the first six months of 2020, murders against social leaders in Colombia increased 85 percent compared to 2019, according to a report on violent acts against political, social and community leaders presented by the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE).

According to the report, 81 crimes against leaders occurred in this period (there were 61 in a similar period in 2019). These have occurred in 90 municipalities and in 56 of them there is the presence of at least one illegal armed group.

In total, 183 acts of violence against political, social and communal leaders have been registered, with social leaders being the most affected with 100 acts (54.6 percent).

In second place, with 56 recorded events (30.6 percent), of which 40 were threats, political leaders appear, and a total of 27 violent acts were directed against community leaders (14.8 percent).

Of the total number of events, 57 correspond to attacks against women leaders, an increase of 18.8 percent compared to 2019.

Of the 81 murders, 52 were committed in regions with Development Plans with a Territorial Approach (PDET), that is, 64.2 percent took place in areas allegedly prioritized by the State to avoid sources of violence.

The text specifies that there have been events in 26 of the 32 Colombian departments, although a significant number is concentrated in Cauca, Arauca, Norte de Santander, Antioquia and Córdoba.

The director of the EOM, Alejandra Barrios, pointed out in the report «different armed groups and others not identified» as responsible for this «humanitarian tragedy», and called for «urgent measures» of individual and collective protection, or «we are going to stay without democratic leaderships «.

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