Human Rights Activist Shot Dead In Colombia

This 51-year-old community leader who survived a previous assassination attempt has now been shot dead in a second attack in a rural town in Colombia.

According to social media, Aramis Arena Bayona, 51, was murdered in the rural corregimiento Estados Unidos in the municipality of Becerril in the Colombian north-eastern department of Cesar.

Reports said that Arena Bayona’s dead body was found by local villagers covered in blood and with a gunshot wound to his head in a field after he disappeared from his house.

The Mayor of Becerril, Raul Fernando Machado Luna, condemned the murder and told local media: “The police went immediately to the place and they have launched an investigation together with the National Army.”

Credit: Newsflash/@aramis.arenasbayona.3
Aramis Arenas Bayona

The murdered social leader was the president of the local neighbourhood association Junta de Accion Comunal (JAC) and was coordinating a project to promote rural tourism in the area.

Reports said he presented himself as a candidate to town councillor in the regional elections of 2019 and he had fought for farmer’s rights in 2016 together with local Human Rights organisations.

No arrests have been reported.

The General Attorney’s Office of Colombia has confirmed the killing of 25 social leader between 1st January and May 2020 while the Institute for Studies of Development and Peace (INDEPAZ) gives a higher number of 101 murdered social leaders this year.

The United Nation (UN) in Colombia condemned the murder on social media saying: “We deeply regret the murder of the human rights defender and president of the Community Action Board Aramis Arena Bayona. We call on the authorities to protect the life and work of the defenders. We also call for an advance in investigations.”

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Jonathan MaciasSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash

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