Friday, February 3, 2023

Colombia reports 215 killings of human rights defenders in 2022

BOGOTA ( Associated Press) – Colombia’s ombudsman’s office on Monday reported 215 killings of human rights defenders in 2022, the highest number recorded by the said unit since 2016 when it began documenting the cases and extradited guerrilla revolutionaries over a peace deal. Signed with the Armed Forces. Colombia.

José Ricorte Quintero was one of the latest victims last year. On the morning of 21 December, he was assassinated with a shotgun on a public highway in Armenia, in the west of the country. He was the leader of the Mane Survivors Foundation, made up of families of those who disappeared during the armed conflict that the country suffered for more than 50 years.

The ombudsman’s office indicated that the killings were concentrated in the departments of Nariño and Putumayo, on the border with Ecuador; Cauca and Valle del Cauca, in the southwest; Antioquia in the center of the country; Bolivar to the north, and Norte de Santander on the border with Venezuela.

“This corresponds to the regions of the country where the main illegal armed groups and organized crime organizations are present,” the ombudsman’s office said in a statement.

In Colombia, the signing of peace with the FARC did not mean an end to violence. Other armed groups have continued to commit crimes and have created violently contested strategic areas for drug trafficking, illegal mining and smuggling.

The government of Gustavo Petro, the first left-leaning president in Colombia’s history, has proposed to start peace talks with armed groups such as the Guerrilla Army of National Salvation and reconcile some dissidents in its “total peace” policy. the FARC, which resumed arms, and the Clan del Golfo cartel, with which the government declared a bilateral ceasefire.

The ombudsman, Carlos Camargo, hopes that both the talks with the ELN and the ceasefire with other armed groups lead to a “decrease in actions against leaders” and human rights defenders and “put an end to this situation against this population”. .

Nation World News Desk
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