Social leader assassinated for defending the rights of his community

Pray for the communities of Northeast Antioquia after armed groups murdered a social leader and kidnapped two others in response to their community organizing.
two people stand on a grassy hill, holding a sign that reads in Spanish "Welcome! Humanitarian camp for the right to a dignified life and territory, El Carmen village"
Humanitarian camp from 1-4 August, 2022.

We ask for prayer for the small farming and mining communities located in the northeast region of Antioquia. These villages are besieged by FARC dissident groups, the ELN guerilla group and the AGC paramilitaries, deepening the humanitarian crisis in the region due to the strong territorial control that these groups exercise over the populations in addition to the continuous confrontations that take place in the midst of a struggle to control the territory.

In the midst of these territorial disputes, the communities are victims; they have been displaced and have suffered all kinds of threats. Their capacity to respond to this reality has been hampered by the continuous threats from several different armed groups which dissuade the communities from denouncing the serious situation in the region to authorities.

The work of local organizations that defend human rights has been relegated to merely summarizing the situation in the region and trying to survive the threats and assassination attempts by the various armed groups that see the organizations’ work as a threat to their control and positioning in the region.

One of the most recent attempts of resistance by social organizations in the midst of these violent threats was to create a humanitarian camp that raised awareness of the current risks and drew the attention of national and international authorities to what is happening. As a result, on 18 August 2022, an armed group kidnapped a leader of the humanitarian camp, her daughter and her husband. Her husband was tortured and killed while she and her daughter managed to survive and were released. This situation demonstrates the increasingly alarming situation in the region.

We invite you to watch this video below that summarizes the reasons why communities resist in a non-violent way in the face of violence by armed groups and the silence of the government.

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