Three massacres committed in one day, 54 so far this year

The wave of massacres which has impacted Colombians in recent weeks has escalated yet further, with three committed in just one day, Monday 7 September. In total, 12 as-yet-unnamed people were killed in the attacks.

Colombia suffered its first massacre of the day when four young people were killed, including reports of a child, in El Carmen in the northern region of Bolívar. Also in Bolívar, another three people were killed, the attack taking place in the Simití zone.  

The day’s third massacre left five victims in Zaragoza, department of Antioquia. As with the areas of Bolívar where the others took place, the northern Antioquia region has been severely impacted by the presence of several armed groups.  

The regions where the attacks were committed have each seen high levels of political violence this year, including targeted killings of community leaders. Several paramilitary and armed groups are present in Bolívar and Antioquia, as in other parts of the country, where their attempts to control drugs production and trafficking, as well as other legal economies, has brought them into direct confrontation with local communities. Regions such as north Antioquia, where the site of the third massacre is located, have seen armed groups forcibly recruit children and displace residents.

Following the two massacres committed in a 24-hour period across 3 and 4 September, there have been 54 massacres committed in Colombia so far this year. Cases have escalated sharply since the start of August, with the latest attacks bringing the total number of massacres since then to 15 in under six weeks.