EL ESPECTADOR, June 9, 2022

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The murders of human rights defenders in Antioquia give no respite. Yesterday, June 8, they killed Danilo de Jesús Madrid, a social leader in Tarazá.

In the Municipality of Tarazá, Antioquia, there was a new act of violence against social leaders when yesterday morning they killed human rights defender Danilo de Jesús Madrid, 45 years old, with a firearm. Even more worrisome is that, according to a report issued by the Sumapaz foundation, 78 percent of the homicides of social leaders in Antioquia remain in impunity.

The figure comes from an analysis of 169 cases of homicides of human rights defenders that took place between 2016 and the first trimester of 2022, as documented by the Attorney General’s Office. However, Sumapaz adds that the rate of impunity could be even more serious, to the extent that there is an undercount in the Attorney General’s Office data.

In any case, the data conclude that only 22% of the cases of murders of social leaders have concluded with the conviction of the killer or killers. With respect to the cases that have not been resolved and that continue in impunity, 47.4% of those cases are being investigated at present.

“In the investigation process, the prosecutors will find evidence, and that will serve so that the investigation can be kept on file, possible suspects can be identified, and their arrest ordered,” explains the Sumapaz report.

We have to remember that Antioquia is one of the departments most affected by the killing of social leaders, according to the Ombudsman’s Office. At the same time, according to the Ombudsman, homicides reported in 2021 increased by 12% in the department, compared with earlier years.

All in all, according to the Institute for the Study of Development and Peace (Indepaz), so far in 2022, eight social leaders have been murdered.

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