64th indigenous leader murdered since President Duque took office in August 2018

An indigenous councillor, Jhon Jader Cayapú, was found murdered on Monday 15 April in Corinto, north Cauca, one of the most violent regions in Colombia following the signing of the 2016 peace agreement.

A relative said that he was dedicated to agriculture and looking after his son. The child’s mother had been murdered in a previous attack. Their young son, now an orphan due to political violence, is in the care of his grandmother.

According to the National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (ONIC), Jhon is the 64th indigenous leader or activist murdered since President Iván Duque took office eight months ago.

North Cauca remains heavily affected by political violence and instability, with high presence of armed groups seeking to occupy territories vacated by the FARC after it reformed as a political party under the terms of the agreement. In addition to the high rates of killings of social activists, communities have suffered confinement, displacement and kidnappings.

Altogether, around 500 social activists and human rights defenders have been murdered since the peace agreement was signed.