This Colombian social leader helping the poor survive in the pandemic has been murdered along with his family by FARC guerrillas who left his youngest son alive so he could tell the tale.
The brutal murder took place in the town of Mercaderes in the Cuca Department in south-western Colombia when social leader Alvaro Narvaez Daza was murdered together with his wife Maria Delia Daza, 45, his older son Cristian Narvaez Daza, 22 and his granddaughter Yeni Caterine Lopez, 15.
Reports said that Narvaez Daza’s youngest son, 17, whose name has not been reported, managed to survive the attack by hiding under a bed together with another 10-year-old minor who was under the care of the family.
The attackers said they had deliberately chosen not to kill the son so he could act as a witness for what happened. The surviving son of the social leader told local authorities several armed men opened from the forest while the family was having dinner on their patio.
Local media report that the murder was committed by dissident groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who claimed responsibility for the crime in a social media statement.
The statement, signed by commander Isabel of the Central Urban Command of FARC and shared on social media says: “We executed leader Alvaro Narvaez Daza and his wife Maria Daza Rodriguez and his granddaughter, a son was left injured so he can tell the story.”
Daza was the leader of a local community association which fought for the right to defend their land from guerrillas who often seek to exploit the area for drug trafficking.
The Mayor of Mercaderes, Fernando Diaz, told local media: “He was helping deliver groceries to vulnerable families in the middle of the pandemic in the Mojarras area.”
Colombia reportedly had the highest number of murders of social activists and human rights defenders in Latin America in 2019.
After the signing of the Peace Accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in November 2016, almost 200 ex-FARC combatants were reportedly killed during the demobilisation and more than 700 social leaders, activists and human right defenders have been assassinated since.
Director of the organisation Indepaz Camilo Gonzalez Posso told local media: “The very serious situation in Cauca shows that the policies of the State and the Armed Forces are failing in response to the increasing violence.”
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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