Peace Campaigner Assassinated by Colombian Soldiers

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 1 February 2008

Colombian peace campaigner Miguel Angel Gonzalez Gutierrez has been murdered by troops of the 'Calibio' Battalion of the Colombian Army. The son of a trade union leader, 23-year-old Mr Gonzelaz, was the father of two young boys.

The killing, on Janaury 27th, occurred after troops from the Battalion, which is part of the 14th Brigade, entered the village of Puerto Nuevo in the municipality of Remedios in the central Colombian region of Antioquia. Mr Gonzalez was an activist in the regional peace movement known as CAHUCOPANA and had recently spoken at a public meeting about ongoing violations of human rights carried out by the 'Calibio' Battalion against peasant farmers in the region.

The victim's father, trade union leader Migel Angel Huepa, had been detained by troops of the same Battalion on January 19th. Mr Huepa had brought his family to live in the region in 1991, when his son was aged seven, after having been forced to flee eastern Colombia due to threats related to his trade union work.

The day after the soldiers murdered Mr Gonzalez they returned to the area and took away peasant farmer Luis Alberto Restrepo. It is not currently clear what has happened to him.

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