HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS MILITARY OBJECTIVE OF ARMED GROUPS IN NARIÑO

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The situation of Human Rights Defenders has been deteriorating in recent years in some regions of Colombia, including the department of Nariño, after the signing of the Peace Agreement. In February 2018, the Ombudsman’s Office issued Early Warning No. 026-18 in which it identified the risk situation of various human rights organizations in the country, including Nariño, where 17 organizations were identified, most of them from Tumaco. According to Report 010-17 and Early Warning 026-18 of the same entity, between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018, 437 social leaders had been killed in Colombia. Of that total, 24 cases corresponded to the department of Nariño, which ranked fifth among the 30 departments with homicide figures of social leaders in that period. Cauca with 106 homicides was the department that took first place followed by Antioquia with 60 cases, Norte del Santander with 31 cases and Valle del Cauca with 28 cases[1].

According to figures collected by the Regional Observatory of Human Rights and IHL, between 2018 and 2019 approximately 33 human rights defenders have been killed in Nariño. Of this total, 22 defenders correspond to murders committed during the year 2019, which means that on average in Nariño almost 2 human rights defenders are murdered per month.

The majority of murders of social leaders occurred in the municipality of Tumaco (32%), followed by Samaniego (18%), Santa Bárbara de Iscuandé (14%) and Barbacoas (9%). 36% of the human rights defenders killed were indigenous leaders, followed by community leaders with 32% and advocates. with 9%.

Human Rights Defenders Murdered

Nariño 2019

Name Date Alleged perpetror Type of leader* Process Municipality
Leonardo Nasacuas Rodríguez 12/01/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Ricaurte
Maritza Ramírez Chaverra 24/01/2019 Unknown Community leader Human rights of rural peasant communities and right to territory Tumaco
Nelly Bernal Andrade 14/02/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Samaniego
Argemiro López Pertuz 17/03/2019 Dissents of FARC (Los Contadores) Community leader Human rights of rural peasant communities and right to territory Tumaco
Marco Antonio Adrada Viana 28/04/2019 Unknown Peasant leader Human rights of rural peasant communities and right to territory Leiva
Miguel Ángel Alpala 01/05/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Cumbal
Milton Hernández 02/05/2019 Unknown Afro-descendant leader Ethnic and territorial rights Santa Bárbara
Carlos Obando 02/05/2019 Unknown Community leader Ethnic and territorial rights Santa Bárbara
Daniel Obando 02/05/2019 Unknown Community leader Ethnic and territorial rights Santa Bárbara
Efraín Prado Rosero 03/05/2019 Unknown Community leader Promotion, respect and protection of the human rights of vulnerable communities Mallama
Paula Andrea Rosero Ordoñez 20/05/2019 Unknown Lawyer human rights defender Promotion, respect and protection of human rights Samaniego
Leidy Jackeline Burgos Paí 07/06/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Barbacoas
Robert Dionisio García Bisbicús 07/06/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Tumaco
Rocío García Pai 07/06/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Tumaco
Libardo Montenegro Quintero 11/06/2019 Unknown Journalist human rights defender Promotion, respect and protection of human rights Samaniego
Karen Bernal García 24/07/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Samaniego
Wilson Charly Tenorio Quiñones 15/08/2019 Unknown Community leader Promotion, respect and protection of the human rights of vulnerable communities Magüí Payán
José Cortés 6/09/2019 Unknown Community leader Promotion, respect and protection of the human rights of vulnerable communities Tumaco
Lilia Patricia García 13/10/2019 Unknown Indigenous leader Ethnic and territorial rights Barbacoas
Javier Córdoba Chaguendo 18/10/2019 Unknown Journalist human rights defender Promotion, respect and protection of human rights Tumaco
Jennifer López 27/11/2019 Unknown Victims´ leader Promotion, respect and protection of human rights of the victims of armed conflict   Pasto
Lucy Villarreal 23/12/2019 Unknown Cultural leader Promotion, respect and protection of cultural rights of any people or community Tumaco

Source: Regional Observatory of Human Rights and IHL / Fundepaz

The most worrying thing is that in only 2 cases of the 22 murders, that is 9%, there is a progress in the investigations to determine the perpetrators and motives. In April 2019, the Prosecutor’s Office captured five suspected members of Los Contadores, among them alias Popocho, who would be the homicide determiner of community leader Argemiro López Pertuz for his promotional work in Tumaco of the Program for the Replacement of Illicit Crops.

In October the Prosecutor’s Office reported that in the framework of Operation ‘Shield’ II – Nariño, Kevin Javier Mendoza Centeno was captured in Cali, indicated of the murder of the Human Rights Defender, Paula Andrea Rosero Ordoñez , Municipal Ombudsman of Samaniego, occurred on May 20. A Colombian Pacific drug trafficker structure would have contacted Kevin Javier Mendoza in Cali to assassinate the leader Paula Rosero.


[1] DEFENSORÍA DEL PUEBLO. Respuesta a derecho de petición de información [Correo electrónico]. Mensaje enviado a: Fundepaz. 21 de Febrero de 2019. [citado el 28 de Febrero de 2019]. p. 1-4