Rural activist murdered after being refused security measures despite threats

Rural organiser and peace activist Gustavo Pérez was murdered on Friday 13 September in Santa Rosa del Sur in the department of Bolívar, northern Colombia. The region has a high presence of paramilitary groups due to the weak state presence and lucrative illegal economies.

Gustavo, who was 58 years old, was a member of the Sowing a Future of Peace (Sembrando Futuro de Paz) and was a delegate for a local victims’ committee which supported and organised victims of the armed conflict.

He had previously asked for security measures after receiving paramilitary threats but the authorities had denied the request.

More than 500 social activists have been murdered since the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016.