Trade unionist is 21st Colombian activist murdered in first 16 days of year

On 16 January, unidentified attackers shot dead trade unionist Yordan Tovar in Puerto Guzmán, southern Colombia. He is at least the fifth person killed in the zone and the 21st victim overall since the start of the year.

Yordan was a senior official in the the Agricultural Peasant Workers Trade Union of Putumayo. He was shot multiple times in the union’s shop.

Despite the 2016 peace agreement, murders of trade unionists have escalated in Colombia, more than doubling from 15 in 2017 to 34 in 2018, accounting for almost two-thirds of worldwide cases. Figures for 2019 have not yet been released but several more killings are known to have been committed.

More than 600 activists have been killed overall since the peace agreement was signed a little over three years ago.