You are here

Colombia, 07/01/21

Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez,President of the Republic of Colombia 

Sr. Fiscal General Francisco Barbosa Delgado, Attorney General of Colombia


July 1, 2021

Dear Sirs:

We are alarmed at the number of social leaders being assassinated across Colombia. Diana María Jaramillo Henao, of Bello, Antioquia Department, became one of the latest victims on June 20.

Diana Jaramillo (age 49) was dedicated to community work in the 5 Estrellas neighborhood of La Gabriela, municipality of Bello in Antioquia. She was murdered along with two other people. On June 20, the Metropolitan Police of Medellín reported the discovery of three bodies put in bags and sealed with tape in the municipality of Copacabana and along the North Highway in Bello, north of the Aburrá Valley. The other two were a married couple: Wilson Alfonso Zapata Guisao (age 51) and Nubia Isleny Pérez Cárdenas (age 50). As of June 26, there have been seven bodies found in bags and left on public roads, some of them are dismembered.

The high number of social leaders being assassinated in Antioquia is part of a disturbing trend across Colombia. INDEPAZ (Institute of Studies for Development and Peace) asserts that so far this year, at least 80 social leaders have been killed, bringing the total to 1,196 since the signing of the November 2016 Peace Accords between the Colombian government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).

We strongly urge that you

  • conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the killing of  Diana María Jaramillo Henao, Wilson Alfonso Zapata Guisao, and  Nubia Isleny Pérez Cárdenas,publish the results, and bring the perpetrators to justice
  • seek all necessary strategies to guarantee the life and integrity of social leaders in Antioquia, in strict accordance with their wishes


Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martínez



Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail
Daniel Palacios Martínez, Minister of the Interior ~ via email
Fundación Sumapaz ~ via email
IACHR: Antonia Urrejola Noguera, Rapporteur for Colombia,  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email, US mail
UN: Juliette De Rivero, Representative in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email
US Embassy: Kristen Farrell (human rights) and Mariel Chatman (vulnerable populations) ~ via email
US State Department: Christine Russell, Desk Officer for Colombia ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman ~ via email
US Representatives Beatty, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
26 JUN 2021_Telesur__Colombia