Two social leaders murdered in Catatumbo

Two more social leaders have been murdered in Catatumbo, department of Norte de Santander, where there have been high levels of political violence in recent months between different armed groups.

The two victims were Héctor Santiago Anteliz and Isaac Navarro Mora, community organisers in the town of Teorama.

Héctor Santiago Anteliz, 52 years old and the brother of a local councillor, was president of the Community Action Council in the village of Filo San José. He was found dead with multiple gunshots on the morning of Saturday 23 June along the road connecting Teorama and San Pablo.

Isaac Navarro Mora was kidnapped with his wife Luz Bella Reyes on Friday 22 June. He was also president of his local Community Action Council, in the village of Bellavista.

In response to Héctor Santiago Anteliz’s murder, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees tweeted ‘We condemn the homicide of Héctor Santiago Anteliz, 52 years old, president of the JAC of San Jose, Teorama, in Norte de Santander. In 2018, we have documented 9 defenders’ homicides in this department’.

According to the Colombian INDEPAZ institute, political organisation the Patriotic March and the confederation of rural movements Cumbre Agraria, around 100 social leaders have so far been murdered in 2018.