Social leader María del Carmen Moreno abducted and murdered by paramilitaries

The community leader and activist María del Carmen Moreno was found dead  on Wednesday, five days after armed mean forcibly took her from her home in the department of Arauca, northwest Colombia.

María was an indigenous environmental campaigner and president of the Community Council Board of the village of Caño Rico, where she lived.

Following her abduction, María was forced to record a ransom video in which her captors demanded a ransom of $35,000 dollars for her release. The group said they were members of the Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces (AGC), a paramilitary group which is active across many parts of Colombia.

‘We categorically reject this vile murder that the heart of the Arauquita people mourn today, those who pleaded for this woman’s freedom’, said local mayor Renson Martínez Prada in a statement.

A recent report by Colombian NGO Somos Defensores found that 46 social leaders were murdered in the first three months of 2018.