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Colombia: Killing of nine people in Catatumbo reflects wave of violence

    July 31, 2018

    In response to the killing by armed individuals of nine people, among them Frederman Quintero, social leader and president of a Community Action Committee, in the municipality of El Tarra in the Catatumbo region, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International said:

    “The situation in Catatumbo is a reflection of the ongoing violence across Colombia. Targeted and collective killings are a reminder of the worst moments of the armed conflict. The authorities must take immediate measures to protect civilians and urgently respond to this critical situation.”

    “Human rights are being violated constantly in this border region of the country, and the state has not ensured a comprehensive presence in order to protect civilians from the ongoing violence. The Colombian authorities must commit to investigating these events in a timely and impartial manner to guarantee that impunity does not prevail.”

    Located in the department of Norte de Santander in northeastern Colombia, the Catatumbo region has reported a new wave of violence provoked by clashes between the National Liberation Army (ELN), the People’s Liberation Army (EPL), paramilitary groups and organized crime groups. This situation has also led to the displacement of hundreds of people. There have been reports of armed strikes, targeted killings, clashes in areas near rural schools, and the existence of anti-personnel mines, generating fear and unrest among the civilian population.

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Duncan Tucker: +52 (1) 55 4848 8266, duncan.tucker@amnesty.org

    Read more:

    Colombia: Government must implement immediate action plans in the face of mass forced displacement (News, 13 July 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/07/colombia-gobierno-debe-implementar-planes-de-accion-de-forma-inmediata-ante-desplazamientos-forzados-masivos/

    Colombia: Authorities must guarantee the safety of threatened communities (News, 14 June 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/colombia-autoridades-deben-garantizar-la-seguridad-de-comunidades-amenazadas/

    The Colombian state must address the structural causes of violence (News, 29 May 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/05/el-estado-colombiano-debe-abordar-las-causas-estructurales-de-la-violencia/

    Colombia: Government must protect human rights defenders and community activists amid rising violence (News, 9 April 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/colombia-government-must-protect-human-rights-defenders-and-community-activists-amid-rising-violence/