Politician, Social Leader And Others Killed In Colombia

(TELESUR) – A political candidate, a social leader and three former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were murdered in the Toledo, Cucuta and the Choco regions in the last 24 hours, local sources reported.

The candidate for the mayorship of Toledo, located in Antioquia, northwest Colombia, Orley Garcia, was killed on Saturday after been shot more than 10 times. The Colombian Seventh Division of the Army and the Police reported that they are in the process of identifying those responsible.

He was hospitalized urgently in the local hospital, but due to his critical condition transferred by helicopter to Medellin, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Earlier on Saturday authorities in the northeastern Cucuta region reported the murder of three ex-combatants of FARC, who were part of the Territorial Training and Reincorporation Agency (ETCR) in Caño Indio, a place created for ease adaptation of ex-members into civilian life.

The ex-insurgents were gunned down by a hitman in a city hotel that resulted in two fatalities, Milton Urrutia Mora and Jose Milton Peña Pineda, and a third who resulted injured who were referred to a health center.

According to the report from the Cucuta police, none of the men had a security scheme or escorts to protect their lives.

In addition to these deaths, social leader Jose Cortes, president of the Llorente Community Action Board was also killed in Nariño, southwest of Colombia, as well as the ex-combatant in the process of reintegration Jakson Mena in the  Department of Choco, northwest Colombia.

Just over a year after Ivan Duque’s ascension to the Colombia Presidency, one of the major problems affecting his mandate has been the repeated assassination of social leaders in the country, to which his government has failed to react.

According to the director of the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace, Camilo Gonzalez, a compilation of murders revealed that 229 human rights defenders have been killed since the right-wing president took over in August 2018.

“It gives us 229 people, social leaders who since August 7 have been killed because of their defense of the territory and their communities,” Gonzalez explained.

While the murders of former FARC combatants in the country, from November 2016 to June 2019, add up to 139.

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