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Colombia, 3/6.2024

Dear Sirs:

We are concerned that the situation for social leaders in Colombia remains dangerous, with frequent attacks ranging from threats to kidnappings and even death. During the first several weeks of 2024, more than a dozen social leaders have been killed. The situation underscores the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address violence against social leaders and ensure their safety.

On February 3 at 11:40am, social leader Faber de Jesús Rincón Pérez was returning to his home in the Brisas del Oriente neighborhood of Yondó, Antioquia Department, when he was ambushed by two armed individuals riding on a black motorcycle.  Despite efforts to seek medical help, Faber Rincón Pérez succumbed to four gunshot wounds, including two in the chest. He died minutes after arriving at a local hospital.

Faber de Jesús Rincón Pérez, age 30, was recognized for his advocacy for workers' rights in the oil industry through the organization Guardia Obrera. His death highlights the broader security challenges in remote regions, such as this area of the Magdalena Medio Region where criminal organizations and armed groups like the paramilitary organization Clan del Golfo (also known as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces) and the rebel group National Liberation Army (ELN) are vying for control.

We urge that you:

  • conduct a thorough investigation into the assassination of Faber de Jesús Rincón Pérez, with a focus on identifying and bringing the perpetrators to justice
  • collaborate with community leaders in the Magdalena Medio region to design and implement effective protection for social leaders


Brian J. Stefan Szittai               Christine L. Stonebraker-Martínez



Luis Fernando Velasco Chaves, Minister of Interior ~  via email

Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia, Ambassador of Colombia to the US ~ via email, US mail

José Luis Caballero Ochoa, Rapporteur for Colombia ,  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ~ via email, US mail

UN: Juliette De Rivero, Representative in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email

US Embassy: Francisco Palmieri (Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim); Adam Levy (human rights) ~ via email

US State Department: Desk Officer for Colombia ~ via email

US Senators from Ohio: Brown & Vance ~ via email

US Representatives from Ohio: Beatty, Brown, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Miller, Sykes ~ via email