Two more killings takes number of January victims to 24

A social activist and a FARC former combatant in the reincorporation process have been murdered in separate attacks, taking the total number of such killings to 24 in the first few weeks of 2020.

On 21 January, Hernando Herrera, a rural community leader, was killed in the Sonsón zone of Antioquia, a region which continues to see high human rights violations. He was shot dead in the village of Río Arriba by an assailant, later identified as John Jairo Aguirre, who was subsequently killed by the police.

On 25 January, 42-year-old FARC former guerrilla John Fredy Vargas was killed in Pitalito in the department of Huila. He was travelling by motorbike after meeting with state officials from the government body responsible for overseeing the peace process, the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalisation.

In a recent address, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia said that violence against social activists and former guerrillas is a major threat to the peace process. The UN called on the Colombian government to apply increased security measures and to fully implement the peace agreement as the most effective means of tackling the violence.