Record Number of Colombian Activists Murdered This Year
December 7, 2022
Cited article by The Guardian
HRRC urges the Colombian government to take immediate action to reduce the targeting of activists, human rights defenders, and social leaders. While efforts being made by the government to engage in peace negotiations and honor previous peace agreements, addressing the record number of activist deaths in the country must be a priority.
This year to date, at least 199 social leaders and human rights defenders have been murdered in Colombia. This is much higher than the previous two years, and is being attributed in large part to attacks by armed groups in areas tied to the illegal drug trade. Reports highlight a correlation between the number of murders and the increase of illicit crops in different territories and the related operations.
The new leftist government currently wants to subdue many of the gangs that are linked to illicit drug trafficking. The government is restarting peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a leftist guerrilla group in Venezuela. The government also hopes to implement the 2016 Peace Agreement that was made with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).