Excmo. Sr. Presidente Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia
Sr. Fiscal Francisco Barbosa Delgado, Attorney General of Colombia
February 1, 2022
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