Exiled Colombian Youth Leader Assassinated in Venezuela

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Suspected Colombian military intelligence agents have assassinated an exiled leader of the Young Communist Party of Colombia. Alirio Quinones was living in exile in Venezuela after having suffered years of persecution at the hands of the Colombian Army and intelligence services.

Mr Quinones, who was a resident in the Venezuelan town of Guasdualito, which borders his home region of Arauca in Colombia, was shot dead by two men on January 19th at approximately 7pm. He had gone into exile after repeated attempts on his life in Arauca, and an attempt to kidnap him whilst he was in the Colombian capital Bogotá.

Mr Quinones had also been an active member of the PDA opposition party and in the Colombian National Union of Students, ACEU. The Student Union has denounced his murder saying that "this crime is proof of state terrorism and the lack of democratic guarantees that exist for members of the political opposition". In a statement form the Young Communist Party, they described the situation in Colombia as a 'regime of terror'.

According to the ACEU numerous student leaders have been assassinated in Colombian in recent years although this is believed to have been the first case in which a student leader has been murdered outside of Colombia.

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