A young baby was killed in an assassination attempt on his parents in the early hours of Sunday 14 April in northern Colombia.
Seven-month-old Samuel David González Pushaina is the latest victim, and so far the youngest, of the escalation of violence against former combatants and social activists since the peace agreement was signed in November 2016.
Samuel’s parents, Sandra Pushaina and Carlos Enrique González, are FARC former combatants in the reincorporation process which prepares them for civilian life. They were both injured but survived the attack. However, one of Carlos’ cousins was killed.
The parents were taking Samuel to visit Carlos’ grandmother in the indigenous Wayuu community of Monte Lara de Maicao, department of La Guajira. At around 2am, unknown assailants opened fire on the home in a sustained attack lasting around ten minutes. Samuel was hit but the family could not take him to hospital for several hours as the dangerous situation prevented any vehicles from reaching the home. Samuel had died by the time they finally got to hospital at 6am.
The family were based at the demobilisation camp Tierra Grata in the department of César, one of 26 camps where FARC members are based for reincorporation and training as they transition to civil society following the signing of the 2016 peace agreement.
Just last month, UNISON North West, Thompsons Solicitors and JFC co-organised a special quiz night in Manchester, northern England, to support a Tierra Grata crowdfunding project for an aqueduct to supply water to the community. Former guerrillas sent a video message of solidarity with the event, which raised several hundred pounds.
According to the FARC, between the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016 and the end of March 2019, 108 former combatants and 25 family members have been murdered (the latter figure is now 26 following Samuel’s death) .
JFC’s thoughts are with everyone at Tierra Grata at this tragic time.