Tuesday, September 27

Another social leader assassinated in Colombia

  • Lenin Guerra was kidnapped and later executed by the Clan del Golfo, in a notable upward trend in murders this year

Presumed members of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), also known as Gulf Clan and that they are the main criminal gang in the country, assassinated the social leader lenin war in the department of Antioquia (northwest), authorities reported this Friday.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Peace deplored “the assassination of social leader Lenin Guerra Castro and the disappearance of his partner, Yuliana Galeano Luján, who hours later was released.” Both Guerra and Galeano, recognized leaders of the Remedios municipalities, were kidnapped by the AGC in Segovia, in what the government considered a “new action by the AGC against civilians.”

“It’s more than 30 years that have brought pain, destruction of dreams and life projects in this region. We appeal to the AGC, who are attributed by local sources, the commission of this irreparable damage and crimes against life and freedom to act in coherence with its public announcement of a ceasefire since last August 7”, added the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.

The Gulf Clan announced on August 7 a unilateral cessation of “offensive hostilities” to seek “paths of peace” in the face of the “different era” that opened in Colombia with the inauguration of the leftist Gustavo Petro as president. Petro has shown willingness to undertake a policy of total peace that he contemplates resume peace talks with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), but also speaking with other armed groups that operate in the territory.

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Regarding the Clan del Golfo, which was born after the demobilization of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), the president has spoken of “voluntary submission to justice”, since he distinguishes between groups such as the ELN that were born from the insurgency and with an ideology and these other groups.

Since the Government of Colombia extradited the top leader of the Clan del Golfo, Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias ‘Otoniel’, last May, this group began a campaign of retaliation, an attack that included a week of armed strike that put the north and northwest of the country last May.

rejection of crime

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia lamented the crime and appreciated that Galeano “is free and alive.” “We call for these violent acts to be investigated, prosecuted and punished. We urge that measures be taken to prevent this type of attack against defenders, leaders and the community,” added that body.

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The German Embassy in Colombia expressed, for its part, that those who assassinated Guerra are “cowards.” “Our emphatic rejection of this crime and condolences to the family. When will they understand that violence does not lead to any path?” Added the diplomatic representation on Twitter.

The Ombudsman’s Office reported this Friday that between January 1 and July 31 of this year there were 122 assassinations of social leaders and human rights defenders, which represents an increase compared to the same dates of previous years. This is 32 more homicides than on the same date in 2021, when 90 had been reported, and 16 more than in 2020, when 106 were recorded from January to July.

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