FARC member and boy killed as violence impacts Catatumbo

A former member of the FARC was killed along with a 16-year old boy in Tibú, region of Catatumbo, in eastern Colombia. The ex-guerrilla was named as Querubín Ascanio, who had previously belonged to the FARC’s 33rd Front. The child was named locally as Darwin.

There were few details about the double killing but reports said that the older victim may have joined groups connected to the demobilised People’s Liberation Army (EPL) which is currently confronting rival guerrilla organisation the National Liberation Army (ELN).

According to the United Nations, the regional conflict which began in mid-March has so far affected 154,000, including over 8,820 people forcibly displaced from their homes. At least 20 schools are closed because of the violence, with 12,000 children affected.

The UN also said that around 4,000 indigenous Barí people in the region are in danger from landmines and other explosive devices.

The conflict between the EPL and ELN began over control of Catatumbo, which borders Venezuela and is one of the poorest regions in Colombia but has lucrative illicit economies.