On Tuesday 4 July, Ana María Cortés was murdered in Bajo Cauca, department of Antioquia, where she had worked as a lead coordinator of left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro’s ‘Colombia Humana’ presidential election campaign. Petro was defeated in a second-round vote by right-wing candidate Iván Duque of the Democratic Centre party. Ana María was shot dead in a cafe at around 6pm.
Her killing is the latest in a severe escalation in political violence which has occurred in recent weeks. Although Colombia was already experiencing one of its most violent years in terms of killings of social leaders, the past week has seen at least ten people killed around the country. Seven peasant farmers were found dead in Cauca while two people were murdered while watching the World Cup match between Colombia and England.
Already in 2018, close to 100 civil society activists have been killed.