Murder of María del Pilar Hurtado sparks national outrage in Colombia

Land campaigner and community organiser María del Pilar Hurtado was murdered on 21 June 2019 in Tierralta, department of Córdoba.

Harrowing footage of her 12-year-old son seeing her dead body lying in the street went viral in Colombia. The child’s reaction drew much focus on social media and in the Colombian press. Many people expressed their sorrow and outrage over the killing and the horrific violence against social activists which has engulfed many parts of the country.

María was 34 years old and mother to four sons, aged five, 14 and 12-year-old twins.

She had previously received paramilitary death threats from the so-called Gaitanist Self-Defence Forces over her social activism.

More than 700 social activists have been murdered in Colombia since the start of 2016, according to human rights organisations.