Human Rights Defender Murdered

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 27 February 2008

An activist who testified to a high profile human rights mission last September that the Colombian Army were abusing the human rights of people living in his region has been shot and killed by an army-backed paramilitary unit.

At around 7pm on February 26th two masked men forced their way into the home of Umael Chitita Aldana, who was also a community leader, and shot him nine times as he sat in his kitchen. The killing took place in the town of Cabana Uno in the Vista Hermosa area of Meta department. Mr Aldana had repeatedly testified about the Colombian Army killing people in the region including to the high profile September mission and had complained that soldiers had been threatening him as a result.

The regional human rights commission in Meta has accused the Army of being linked to this latest murder and of working with a paramilitary death squad in the area. According to inhabitants, known paramilitary assassins patrol the region on motorcycle and are waved through army checkpoints despite being heavily armed.

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