EL COLOMBIANO, February 28, 2023


(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Cauca was the department in this country where there were the most complaints of murders of social leaders registered with the UN, with three cases.

In spite of the fact that the administration is trying to negotiate peace with various armed actors and that there is a bilateral ceasefire involved, the murder of social leaders and human rights defenders continues to be a harsh reality that is hitting the country.

The UN Human Rights Office in Colombia published a report this Tuesday that states that it has received 12 complaints of murders of human rights defenders in this country in January of 2023. Eleven of them are in the process of verification and one was declared to be inconclusive, because the UN office could not verify it.

“The Office considers cases to be verified where the characterization of the person as a defender exists, according to the definition in the United Nations Declaration on Defenders of Human Rights and when one of the hypotheses of their homicide is connected to their activity as a defender,” states the report.

The cases complained of were presented in the departments of Antioquia, Putumayo, Caquetá, Nariño, Putumayo, Santander, Sucre, Valle del Cauca, and Cauca. That last department was the most affected, as it reported three such murders, which took place in the municipalities of Páez, Santander de Quilichao, and Rosas. In the other departments only one such complaint was registered in each of them.

According to the information shared by the United Nations, nine of the victims were men and three were women. The majority were representatives of indigenous communities, campesinos, and members of the Community Action Board in their areas.

Although the number of social leaders killed in January was high, there was a decrease of reported cases in comparison with those registered in January of 2022, when there were 14 complaints that were registered with the UN Office.

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