Community leader murdered at home alongside wife, son and granddaughter

A community leader and three members of his immediate family were killed inside their home on Wednesday 29 April. The attack was carried out in the Mercaderes zone of Cauca, southern Colombia. Reports said that armed men broke into the home and killed Álvaro Narváez, his wife María Daza, son Cristian Narváez and 15-year-old grandaughter Yeny López. A 17-year-old son survived the attack.

Álvaro was president of the Community Council in El Bado, a district of Mercaderes. ‘This is a rural family, workers, decent. He was president of the Community Council, with many years of community leadership, which is why they killed him and it must end,’ said Cauca senator Temístocles Ortega.

‘During this pandemic and during this year, unfortunately, our right to life is not being guaranteed,’ said social activist Jhonathan Centeno, a member of the Patriotic March political organisation which has also faced high levels of violence.

Cauca has been the most violent region in Colombia since the signing of the peace agreement in late 2016, with more than 100 social activists killed in that time. Paramilitary and armed groups are active in Cauca due to its strategic importance and extensive illegal economies in drugs production and illegal resource extracion.