Three more social leaders murdered

Three more social leaders were killed on Thursday and Friday last week, as the wave of violence afflicting Colombia shows no sign of abating.

On Friday 10 August, the indigenous leader Emiliano Trochez, a senior member of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN), was murdered in Santander de Quilichao, department of Cauca.

The United Nations tweeted that ‘we condemn the murder of Emiliano Trochez, former councillor of ACIN and the Guadualito Resguardo Indigenous authority. We call on the authorities to carry out the pertinent investigation in coordination with the Indigenous authorities. To your family and colleagues, our solidarity’.

Emiliano’s murder came after two social leaders were murdered the previous day. José Uriel Rodriguez, a member of the Patriotic March organisation, was also murdered in Cauca. Since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement, the region has suffered higher levels of violence against civil activists than any other part of the country.

In Vereda de la Paz, department of Guaviare, Alejandro Jacanamejoy was killed. He was a community organiser and had been involved in the crop substitution programmes.

According to Colombia’s national Ombudsman, 311 social leaders and human rights defenders were murdered between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2018. Several more killings have taken place in the subsequent weeks.