New Year’s Day sees 250th murder of FARC member since signing of peace deal

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Yolanda Zabala Mazo, 22, was abducted from her home in Briceño, Antioquia, along with her 17-year-old sister, Reina. The two were subsequently killed. Yolanda is the 250th FARC former guerrilla in the peace process to be murdered since the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016.

Yolanda was transitioning to civil society at the ETCR reincorporation zone La Plancha in Anorí, Antioquia. In 2020, FARC members at another reincorporation zone in Antioquia were forced to leave the zone due to the high levels of violence they faced, with 12 residents of the ETCR killed up to that point.

On 25 November, the JEP transitional justice court, which was created in the peace agreement to investigate and prosecute major human rights violations, summoned government ministers over the high levels of violence towards FARC members. Among its concerns, the JEP asked ministers why they had not implemented security measures to protect former guerrillas.

Eight more FARC members have been murdered since then. The day after Yolanda and Reina were killed, Duván Arled Galíndez Navia was shot dead in Cartagena de Chairá, department of Caquetá. He was visiting the region from his home in Cali and was attacked while leaving a public establishment at around 10pm. He is the 251st FARC member in the peace process killed.