Murders continue in Colombian countryside

As violence continues to intensify in rural regions of Colombia, CPT partners demand a government response that goes beyond military action
Leaders of CAHUCOPANA host a humanitarian visit for local community members and delegates to address the increase in violence in the Northeast Antioquia region

For several months the regions of Magdalena Medio and Northeast Antioquia have suffered incursions by paramilitary groups, who have murdered people, confined communities in several areas and caused massive displacements in others.  

On 21 April 2024, social leader Narciso Beleño was murdered in Santa Rosa del Sur, Bolívar. For almost 10 years, Narciso was President of the Agro-Mining Federation of the Southern Bolívar (FEDEAGROMISBOL), which fights for the defense of the territory and the rights of small mining communities. 

The following month, In the early hours of the morning of 22 May 2024, CPT partner organization CAHUCOPANA reported that combats had occurred in the community of Plaza Nueva of Northeast Antioquia between the Clan del Golfo paramilitary group and both the guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This fighting caused the death of approximately 15 combatants whose bodies remained on the ground for two days until the authorities arrived to retrieve them, leaving the community exposed and more traumatized.  

The harshness of the war continues, and has intensified in the communities of Northeast Antioquia and Southern Bolívar. Combats, threats, murders, curfews, and massive displacements of communities have caused a serious humanitarian crisis.  

Colombia longs for peace. The communities of the Southern Bolívar and the Northeast of Antioquia long for peace. A comprehensive peace that does not only mean the silencing of guns. A peace that dignifies and recognizes the communities that have suffered not only the bullets of war but the abandonment of the state for decades, leaving them without schools, health centers, access roads, and possibilities of taking their products to a market to sell them and support their families.  

CAHUCOPANA and FEDEAGROMISBOL work to defend the territorial, economic, and human rights of the communities of the Southern Bolívar and the Northeast of Antioquia and have denounced the increase in the presence of armed groups in the region, demanding a government response that includes more than just military action.  

The Petro government has a Total Peace policy, where he plans to negotiate with all armed groups to reach agreements. Unfortunately, achieving Total Peace is not easy.  Let us pray for CAHUCOPANA and FEDEAGROMISBOL and other organizations in Colombia that work and fight for a peace based in social justice so that in the midst of such a difficult situation like combat, threats and forced displacement, they do not lose hope.  

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