Trade unionist murdered in front of six-year-old daughter

A trade unionist was murdered in front of his six-year-old daughter on Monday 22 April, the latest act of violence against social activists and human rights defenders in Colombia. Nixon Willington Valencia was shot in San Miguel, department of Putumayo.

Nixon belonged to the FENSUAGRO agricultural trade union, which has seen at least nine members murdered since the start of last year. At least four members have already been killed in 2019. He was also a member of the Patriotic March social movement, which has also suffered high levels of political violence.

According to reports, two men went to Nixon’s home while he was visiting family who lived nearby. They intercepted him and shot him several times as he walked home. His six-year-old daughter was with him at the time and survived the attack.

Since the signing of the peace agreement in November 2016, Putumayo has been severely affected by ongoing political violence and instability, with several armed groups active in the region due to its strategic proximity to the Ecuador border and the low state presence.

Altogether, around 500 social activists and human rights defenders have been killed in Colombia during that time. Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for organised labour, with over half of all global murders of trade unionists committed there.