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Colombia, 07/02/21

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

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


July 2, 2021

Dear Sirs:

We are horrified at the number of social leaders being assassinated in Antioquia Department. Coffee producer Ángel Miro Cartagena Correa became victim #11 on June 20.

Ángel Miro Cartagena was a member of the Community Association of High Quality Coffee Producers of Dabeiba (APROCAD). He disappeared on June 14, having been seen for the last time in the Llano Grande sector of Urama municipality, located in Norte de Santander. It appears that he was attacked by armed men (believed to be part of the paramilitary organization El Clan del Golfo) when he was driving his motorcycle towards the village of Camparrusia. His body was found with signs of torture in the Urama River in the rural area of ​​Dabeiba municipality, Antioquia, on the afternoon of June 20.

The high number of social leaders being assassinated in Antioquia is part of an alarming trend across Colombia. INDEPAZ (Institute of Studies for Development and Peace) asserts that so far this year, at least 74 social leaders have been killed. In addition, there have been killed 26 ex-FARC combatants who were enrolled in the reincorporation process established by 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 assassination of  ÁngelMiro Cartagena Correa,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
  • join with the National Commission of Security Guarantees to establish and implement policies that will identify, prosecute, and dismantle the intellectual authors, financiers, and members of the neo-paramilitary and other criminal groups that are continuing to interfere with the implementation of the peace process.


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
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