The Colombian Ombudsman’s Office has estimated this Friday at 136 cases of homicides against social leaders and human rights defenders in the country in the first eight months of the year, warning that there are almost thirty more cases than those registered in the same period of the previous year.
“Between January 1 and August 31, 2022, there were 136 cases of homicides against social leaders and human rights defenders in the country, 27 more cases than those registered in the same period of the previous year,” reads the statement. agency press release.
The Ombudsman, Carlos Camargo Assis, has detailed –according to the National Map of Human Rights Violations presented this Friday– that the region in which the greatest number of crimes of this type has been reported is Narino, with 21 murders, followed by Cauca, with 19; and Antioquia, with 15, two regions in western Colombia.
Of these homicides, most of the cases have been against community leaders –38– and indigenous leaders –31–, in addition to a dozen peasant or agrarian leaders.
“Today, on National Human Rights Day, I want to reiterate my rejection of the murders against social leaders and human rights defenders because these crimes seriously affect the communities they represent, and because they seek to silence the voices of those who they give life to democracy in the territories on a daily basis,” explained Camargo, in the framework of the commemoration of the National Human Rights Day.
For this reason, Camargo has urged the armed organizations to show “a clear will” to achieve peace in the country. “We are facing a historic opportunity to establish a path of dialogue that allows us to achieve the peace that we long for, but for this we need a clear will for peace from all the armed actors,” he declared.
“In this scenario, the best peace gesture that the illegal armed groups could make is to put an end to the murders of those who exercise leadership and defend human rights in the communities,” added Camargo.
Likewise, the Ombudsman has asked state institutions to join efforts to guarantee the integrity and life of social leaders, since most of the municipalities where these crimes have taken place had presented an Early Warning.
In January, 13 homicide cases were registered; in February, 18; in March, 21; in April, 15; in May, 20; in June, 10; July, 18; August, 14 cases.
Source: Europa Press