A former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel, Dalaider de Jesus Vasquez, has been assassinated in the municipality of Ituango, in the department of Antioquia, Colombia.
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"In Ituango they have just murdered ex-militant Daladier Ortiz … Who will put an end to this slaughter? Mr. Minister of defense, are these isolated incidents or are they systematic? Who pays and who pulls the trigger?" FARC leader Rodrigo Granda asked on Twitter.
Colonel Carlos Mauricio Sierra, police chief of Antioquia, stated, "There were several people talking with Mr. Dala and two people entered and shot him dead while two others waited on motorcycles outside. He died and four or five people who were talking to him were injured." He added that the national police formed a special group with judicial and intelligence police to find and capture those responsible for the murder.
A report by the National Human Rights Commission of the Patriotic March and the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace exposed the increased violence in Colombia, despite the peace deal reached by the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC, who have now transitioned to a political party.
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The vacuum created by the departure of FARC rebels has cleared the way for right-wing paramilitary groups to seize these areas and terrorize the population in the interest of powerful landlords and cartels who covet the resource-rich territories.
To date, 27 FARC ex-combatants and 11 FARC family members have been killed in 2017, while at least 125 social movement leaders have been assassinated.
Social movements are demanding that the national government take proper measures to guarantee the physical, psychological and social safety of Antioquia’s rural communities. They are also calling on the international community to assist in investigating the string of murders targeting social movement leaders while ensuring that the Colombian state adheres to its human rights commitments.