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Colombia, 2/1/2022

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

Sr. Fiscal Francisco Barbosa Delgado, Attorney General of Colombia

February 1, 2022

Dear Sirs:

We are writing to demand accountability for the assassination of social leader María del Carmen Molina Imbachi in Valle del Cauca.

María del Carmen Molina Imbachi, a 31-year-old community leader from San Pedro municipality, Valle del Cauca Department, was murdered on the night of December 31. Armed men broke into her home where she was celebrating New Year’s Eve with family. They abruptly took her outside and murdered in the presence of her family and neighbors.  She had served her community as the re-elected secretary of the Community Action Board of the district (corregimiento) of Buenos Aires.

With the killing of María del Carmen Molina Imbachi, INDEPAZ (Institute of Studies for the Development of Peace) documented 171 murders of social leaders in 2021, and a total of 1,286 social leaders killed since the signing of the Peace Accords in November 2016.

We strongly urge that you

  • conduct a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the killing María del Carmen Molina Imbachi, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice
  • offer protections for the family and community members of María del Carmen Molina Imbachi, in strict accordance with their wishes
  • reevaluate the mission of the 3rd Division of the Colombian Army, which is stationed in this central region of Valle del Cauca, and its relationship with illegal armed groups operating in the area, including the Columna Móvil Adán Izquierdo de las disidencias de las Farc, la guerrilla del Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and other local criminal bands


Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martínez



Francisco Santos Calderón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail
Daniel Palacios, Minister of the Interior ~ via email
Joel Hernández García, Rapporteur for Colombia ,  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email, US mail
Julissa Mantilla Falcón, Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, 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, Brown, Gibbs, Gonzalez, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
02 JAN 2022_LASummary__Colombia