UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that his office received reports of the killing of more than 450 social leaders in Colombia since peace was signed between the state and FARC guerrillas.

Another 85 demobilized FARC guerrillas were assassinated in the first two years of the country’s peace process, Guterres said in his quarterly report on the 10-year process.

I remain greatly concerned that attacks against social leaders and human rights defenders continued to occur with impunity during the reporting period… According to OHCHR reports, since the signing of the Peace Agreement in November 2016, 163 killings of social leaders and human rights defenders have been verified and a total of 454 cases reported.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

The UN’s top boss confirmed reports by Colombia’s ombudsman’s office and social organizations that the victims of this violence are mainly land defenders, indigenous leaders and community leaders promoting the substitution of illicit crops like coca.

Early warnings continue to highlight the risks resulting from violent actors targeting communities and leaders, including those seeking to obtain income derived from drug trafficking, mining, extortion, levies and fuel smuggling, among other things, and competing over areas used as corridors for the transport of illicit goods. Early warnings have also highlighted that the victims are typically persons involved in activities such as: defending land and natural resources; implementing parts of the Peace Agreement, in particular the coca substitution program and the formulation of rural development plans; land restitution and the return of displaced persons; defending their land against private interests; denouncing drug traffickers, illegal armed actors and the use of children and adolescents in marginalized urban areas; protesting against specific investments of public resources; and political participation.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Guterres’ numbers did not include the killings that took place in December.

The post UN in Colombia received reports of assassinations of more than 450 social leaders appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.

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