18th Social Leader Murdered in 2019 in Colombia

Jose Arquimedes Moreno, a social leader was shot dead in Colombia.

BOGOTA, Feb 12 (NNN-TELESUR) — Another social leader was assassinated in Colombia, making this the 18th murder just in 2019.

Jose Arquimedes Moreno, 34, a social leader of Colombia was shot dead in the rural area of the town of Tibu.

According to local media, he was shot by two men on a bike while he was going back to his house.

George Quintero, commander of the Police Department of Norte de Santander assured that special attention was being given to the case and for the vulnerable people and communities.

Commenting on the assassination of social leaders in Colombia, Interior Minister Nancy Patricia Gutierrez said a few days ago, “The State is acting and doing everything to prevent and for there to be a timely clarification of who is behind this situation.”

Studies for Development and Peace, Indepaz, said that within the 29 days of 2019, 16 social leaders had been killed in Colombia, excluding the last two leaders i.e., Jose Arquimedes Moreno and Dilio Corpus Guetio.

Colombian Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez said in early January that the greatest number of Colombians murdered over the past two years since the signing of the peace agreement have been social leaders who serve on Communal Action Boards (JAC).

JACs began in the 1950s and are local-level councils where citizens decide upon, plan and develop community projects based on their own needs. The majority of JACs are in rural areas and members include mainly low-income Campesino, Indigenous, and Afro-Colombian members of society.

According to Martinez, the assassinations of JAC leaders is “passively systematic.” The attorney general said that those responsible are paramilitary groups “such as the “Gulf Clan” that works on behalf of narco-traffickers and “Los Caparrapos” he added.

Indigenous people made up 13 percent of those killed and farmers 10 percent. Union leaders and social leaders, Afro-Colombians and LGBTI population were the other main murder victims.

Alberto Brunori, the representative of the United Nations in Colombia warned earlier this month that the municipalities of Hacari, San Calixto, El Tarra, and Teorama, located in Norte de Santander, are especially dangerous for social leaders. — NNN-TELESUR