Land activist murdered in Chocó

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 28 November 2017

On 26 November, land activist Mario Castaño was murdered in Belén de Bajira, Chocó, when gunmen entered his home and shot him several times.

Mario was an ardent campaigner for the restitution of lands to Colombian displacement victims and had confronted powerful groups including paramilitaries and business owners.

The killing appears designed to intimidate others who fight to recover land stolen through violence. Mario and his community had themselves been displaced by paramilitaries in 1996. Ever since, he had dedicated his life to returning land to its rightful inhabitants.

Due to his work, Mario had been issued with protective measures such as an escort and a bulletproof jacket. His death highlights Colombian authorities' failure to provide security for social leaders.

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