Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Friday in more than 50 cities and towns across Colombia to protest a surge of lethal attacks on indigenous, Afro-Colombian and environmental leaders in recent years.

Solidarity marches were held in dozens of cities around the world, from Mexico City to Athens. In 2016, the Colombian government and FARC rebels signed a historic peace accord to move the country forward after a half-century of armed conflict.

But since then, nearly 500 human rights activists, many from the Afro-Colombian community, have been killed, targeted for their work combating illegal mining, drug trafficking, and land restitution and environmental causes.

Friday’s protests came after a heartbreaking video went viral showing the child of renowned community activist, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, screaming and crying after witnessing a gunman shoot down his mother.

We speak with Luis Gilberto Murillo, former governor of the Colombian department of Chocó and former Colombian minister of environment and sustainable development.


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