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May 23, 2018
Three human rights defenders were killed within the same week: Luis Marroquin, 47; José Can Xol, 37; and Mateo Chamám Paau, 31. Luis was a member of the National Directorate of the Committee for Campesino Development (CODECA), which promotes land rights and rural development for indigenous farming families. José and Mateo were members of the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), which promotes access to land and the labor rights of Mayan campesinos. CCDA has suffered numerous threats and attacks, including several attacks against their office and leaders.
May 12, 2018
Obdulio Angulo Zamora, Hermes Angulo Zamora and Simeón Olave Angulo, all members of the Naya River Community Council in southwest Colombia were disappeared. Another community leader, Iber Angulo Zamora, was kidnapped on May 3.
May 11, 2018
Assassination of Hugo Albeiro George Pérez, member of the Association of Victims and Those Affected by Megaprojects (ASVAM) outside of Ituango, Antioquia Department. ASVAM is one of 15 organizations affiliated with Living Rivers of Antioquia (MRVA) opposing the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, under construction on the Cauca River. His nephew, Domar Egidio Zapata George, was also killed in the attack.
April 30, 2018
In the last two weeks of April, more than two dozen people have been killed, many more injured, and many more detained; there are also reports of disappearances. Repression against students and journalists has been particularly strong. Ángel Eduardo Gahona, the director of the local, independent television program El Meridiano in Bluefields, was fatally shot in the head on April 21.
April 25, 2018
Assassanation of human rights lawyer Carlos Hernández by unidentified assailants on April 10 at his office in Tela municipality. Carlos Hernández had been legally defending Arnaldo Chacónis, the mayor of Arizona municipality, who is supporting the organized resistance against the Río Jimalito hydroelectric project, being constructed by Generación Eléctrica (INGELSA)
April 24, 2018
Two social leaders, Maria Magdalena Cruz Rojas and Belisario Benavidez Ordoñez, were murdered in two separate attacks on March 30. In a report at the end of March, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stated that “…since the implementation of the peace agreements, the murders of human rights defenders have increased persistently. According to an Ombudsperson’s report, between January 2017 and February 2018, there have been 121 murders of human rights defenders.”
April 20, 2018 to April 23, 2018
Join IRTF at the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference where we will join with hundreds from across the US to analyze current policies and envision ways to more fully and justly respond to the global and local needs of displaced communities.
US policies create migration push factors, forcing people to leave their homelands:
militarized repression against pro-democracy movements
April 23, 2018
A group of hitmen killed Crisanto Garcia Ohajaca at a Catholic worship service on March 29. He was likely targeted for his family links to COMUNDICH, an indigenous rights organization that currently supports 48 Mayan Ch’orti’ communities who live along the border with Honduras, and his knowledge surrounding the killing of another member of the Ch’orti’ de Morola community.
April 12, 2018
assassination of Héctor Manuel Choc Cuz in El Estor, Izabal Department. For many years, his local Mayan Q’eqchi’ community has been protesting displacement from their ancestral land and environmental degradation caused by the Fenix nickel mining, which was owned by Hudbay Minerals of Canada
April 1, 2018
Assassination of Silvio Duban Ortiz Ortiz, age 27, and his brother Javier Bernardo Cuero Ortiz, age 32, sons of Bernardo Cuero Bravo, the leader of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), who was assassinated in front of his wife on June 7, 2017. The brothers were gunned down and killed instantly just 13 days after attending a judicial hearing on their father's murder case and a public demonstration demanding justice.