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Colombia - 12/31/2018

Colombia - case summaries 2018


Jan 11    death threat to Germán Graciano Posso, legal representative of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Antioquia Department and subsequent armed attack on him and other community members by neo-paramilitaries

Feb 12    assassination of Afro-descendant community leader and political organizer Temístocles Machado,  a leader of the Black Communities Process (PCN), in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca Dept.

Feb 13    bombing and forced displacement of members of the Wounaan Indigenous reservation of Chagpien Tordó during armed clashes between the Colombian Army and the ELN (National Liberation Army) in Litoral de San Juán, Chocó Department.

Feb 15    attempted assassination in Bogotá of trade unionist German Espinel of the Association of Agroecological and Mining Brotherhoods of Guamocó (AHERAMIGUA) and active member of the Patriotic March Social and Political Movement

Mar 23    assassination of community leader Juan Mena Ortiz, merchant and President of the Communal Action Board of the Alamos Neighborhood in Quibidó, Chocó Department, who went public about threats by armed criminal groups attempting to extort him.

Mar 24    forced eviction of 500 indigenous Yukpa people by the mayor of Cucutá, Norte de Santander Dept., who have historically lived on both sides of the Colombia-Venezuela

Mar 30    forced disappearance of campesino leader José Herrera, founding member of ASOCBAC (Rural Association of the Bajo Cauca River), president of the Community Action Board of the Vereda Mesetas of Puerto Valdivia (Antioquia Dept.), president of the Association of Peasants of Toledo (ASCAT-NA), and municipal spokesperson for the Comprehensive National Crop Substitution Program

Apr 1      assassination of Silvio Duban Ortiz Ortiz, age 27, and his brother Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz, age 32, in Tumaco, Nariño Dept; they were the sons of slain Afro-descendant human rights defender Bernardo Cuero Bravo, former leader of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), who was assassinated in June 2017

Apr 24    assassination of community leaders Maria Magdalena Cruz Rojas (worked with coca crop substitution program in Meta Department) and Belisario Benavidez Ordoñez (worked with victims of violence in Cauca Department) in two separate attacks on Good Friday, March 30

May 11   assassination of Domar Egidio Zapata George and his uncle Hugo Albeiro George Pérez, member of the Association of Victims and Those Affected by Megaprojects (ASVAM), which is organizing resistance to the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, under construction on the Cauca River near Ituango municipality in Antioquia Department

May 12   forced disappearance of community leaders Obdulio Angulo Zamora, Hermes Angulo Zamora, Simeón Olave Angulo, and Iber Angulo Zamora of the Afro-Colombian Naya River collective territory, bordering Valle de Cauca and Cauca Departments, and forced displacement of 50 residents by armed men  

May 26   displacement of thousands of residents along the Cauca River in Antioquia Department due to landslides and flooding caused by errors in construction of the Hidroituango Hydroelectric Project, partially funded by the Inter-American Development Bank

Jun 12    unjust arrests and criminalization of dozens of elected community leaders and human rights defenders in the Departments of Valle Del Cauca, Cauca, and Nariño, including Sara Quiñonez and her mother Tulia Maria Valencia, both members of the Black Communities’ Process (PCN)

Jun 14    armed attack on a neighborhood of binational (Colombia-Venezuela) indigenous Yukpa people living in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander Department; disappearance of two community members

Jun 25    armed attack on Gonzalo Hilamo Mesa, community leader of indigenous Nasa Embera Chamí people in La Delfina reservation in Buenaventura, Valle de Cauca Department; displacement of 200 community members; torture and killing of  community members Pablo Emilio Dagua and Adriana Montero

Jul 21     death threat pamphlet by paramilitary group Águilas Negras (Black Eagles) threatened to kill 49 individuals and members of 16 civil society organizations in 9 departments; journalists threatened include Jineth Bedoya (El Tiempo) and María Jimena Duzán (Semana)

Jul 22     assassinations of social leaders in Cauca Department include: Jefferson Leandro Sanchez Cuchillo, Ever Alfarit Gómez Samboní, Luis Aurelio Bermú, Fabián Guzmán, Idelber Gómez, José Bayardo Yonda Montoya, Luis Eduardo Dagua Conda, and Ibes Trujilio Contreras, an Afro-descendant leader from the Cuenca River Community Council Timba Marilopez

Aug 25    assassinations of indigenous leaders in the southwest:  Emiliano Tróchez Yonda Camayo (Guadalito indigenous), Holmes Alberto Niscue (Nasa indigenous), and death threats to Raúl Guasiruma Nacabera, Rodrigo Nacavera Guaciruma, Martín Siágama Gutiérrez, and Luis Albeiro Onógama Guasiruma, Odílmer de Jesús Gutiérrez  (Embera Chamí indigenous)

Sep 21   assassination of Luis Alberto Rivas Gómez in Antioquia of the Afro-Colombian Traditional Authorities (ANAFRO) and the Black Communities Process (PCN); death threats against Afro-descendant leaders Luis Alfredo Bonilla, Gary Escobar, and Roassana Mejía Caicedo of the Afro-Colombian Association of Community Councils of Northern Cauca (ACONC)

Oct 21    assassinations of two men affiliated with the environmental defense organization Ríos Vivos Movement of Antioquia (MRVA): Julián de Jesús Areiza Moreno, age 20, and the son of MRVA member Juan de Dios Ramírez.

Oct 24    death threats by Black Eagles paramilitaries against representatives of indigenous organizations in La Guajira Department: Wayúu Nation, Wayúu Araurayu, Wayúu Women's Force Observatory and the National Indigenous Organizations of Colombia (ONIC).

Oct 25    death threats to Malena Mariet Martínez Montoya, member of the Sucre Department branch of the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE).

Nov 12   death threats to Genaro de Jesus Graciano and Isabel Cristina Zuleta, co-founders and active members of the Ríos Vivos Movement Antioquia (MRVA) in Ituango, northern Antioquia Department.

Nov 25    assassination of Edilberto Niño Cristancho, senior leader of theNational Union of Workers in the Cooking Fats and Food Industry (SINTRAIMAGRA), in Villavicencio, Meta Department.

Dec 21   death to threats to Enrique Cabezas, a leader of the collective of Afro-descendent territories in the Curvaradó River Basin in Chocó Department

Dec 22   assassinations of Edwin Dagua Ipia (governor of indigenous territory Huellas in Calota) and Gilberto Antonio Zuluago Ramirez (member of FENSUAGRO agricultural union), and the armed attack on German Valencia (Association of Indigenous Cabildos of Northern Cauca)--all occurred in Cauca Department

Dec 25    assassinations of Awa indigenous leaders Hector Ramiro García and his son, Arturo García, in Cundinamarca Department.