Paramilitaries kill two young coca growers in front of community

Paramilitaries forced residents from their homes before executing two young men in front of horrified community members. The attack took place in San José de Uré in the department of Córdoba, northern Colombia, on 23 May.

The two victims, Jader Polo and Jader Pertuz, both 24 years old, were coca farmers who had been assisting in crop substitution programmes under the terms of the 2016 peace agreement, which stipulates the community-led removal of coca plantations and their replacement with traditional crops.

The attackers were named in reports as belonging to the Caparros armed group, which is believed responsible for several murders of social leaders and people working on the implementation of the peace agreement. The victims were members of the Patriotic March political organisation and the Peasant Farmer Association of Southern Córdoba.

More than 500 social leaders have been murdered since the agreement was signed, with more than 30 victims from the national Coca Growers association, COCCAM.