Monday's killing of five social leaders in Colombia have increased this year's figures to 124, the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz) has reported.
According to the NGO, the 26-year-old David Aricapa Viscue, a community member of the López Adentro reservation, belonging to the Nasa people and located between the municipalities of Caloto and Corinto, in the department of Cauca, was the last victim of this seemingly unprecedented spree.
“With David, there are 124 leaders and human rights defenders killed in 2021”, and it is the 1,239th crime of an activist since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement, Indepaz pointed out.
Aricapa Viscue was murdered Monday afternoon at the entrance of the rescuardo Toéz de Caloto, when he was shot dead by a group of assassins.
“It is reported that at least seven people have been murdered in the area so far this year,” the NGO said. “In the morning there were combats between the Public Force and an armed structure in the municipality of Suárez,” it also explained.
Indepaz also explained the Ombudsman's Office had warned of armed actions affecting the security of communities in the area.
Indepaz's Leonardo González Perafán also mentioned other four murders had taken place the same day: María Nancy Ramírez Pulgarin, in Santa Rosa de Osos, Antioquia; Jose Luis Pai Taicus, in Tumaco, Nariño; Jovanny Javier García Guanga, in Tumaco, Nariño; Dilio Bailarín, in Carmen del Darién, Chocó in addition to Aricapa Viscue.
Both the 15-year-old Pai Taicus and García Guanga were members of indigenous communities from the Awá Quejumbi Feliciana and Hojal la Turbia reservations, respectively. They had disappeared on September 19 and were found the next day lifeless and with signs of violence, according to Indepaz.
Ramírez Pulgarín was a teacher at the Porfirio Barba Jacob Educational Institution, in Santa Rosa de Osos, Antioquia. She was murdered on her way to work by two hitmen.
Bailarín was a member of the Alto Guayabito Indigenous Reservation of Puerto Embera Eyábida, who was assassinated two minutes away from his community and had been threatened by one of the armed groups operating in the area.