Second crop substitution organiser murdered in one week in Antioquia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 31 October 2017

On 27 October, Ramón Alcides García Zapata was killed while travelling home to the village of Alto de Chirí in Briceño, department of Antioquia.

Ramón was coordinating crop substitution programmes in the region and was a member of the North Antioquia Committee of Boat Operators (ASOCBARE) and political organisation the Patriotic March. He is the second social organiser of crop substitution programmes to be murdered in Antioquia in under a week, following the murder of Miguel Pérez on 22 October. Under the terms of the 2016 peace agreement, communities are voluntarily removing coca and other illicit plants to replace them with legal crops.

In a joint-statement condemning the targeting of rural organisers, local organisations said: 'The communities of north and west Antioquia are permanently facing threats, persecutions, stigmatisation and danger. The permanent presence of the National Army suffocates and besieges with constant operations, leaving communities without alternatives to the forced eradication imposed by this military logic, despite our willingness to participate in voluntary substitution processes which have not been initiated due to our zones not being prioritised'.

At least 100 social and political activists have been murdered in 2017.

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