In just 48 hours, three more social leaders have been murdered in Colombia – including a 70-year-old youth education leader in Santander de Quilichao.
Colombia: First Social Leader Murdered Since Duque Took Office
Emiliano Trochez, an Indigenous leader in Cauca, was ambushed by attackers and shot several times on Friday, according to the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN). Trochez was known for his work as both a counselor and trainer for adolescents and children in the area.
Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez denounced the murder: "The government commitment of @IvanDuque is to protect all citizens and especially minorities and Indigenous communities. Reject assassination of Indigenous leader Emiliano Trochez Yonda in Santander de Quilichao. RIP."
The United Nations offered its condolences on social media: "We condemn the murder of Emiliano Trochez, former councillor of ACIN and the Guadualito Resguardo Indigenous authority. We call on the authorities to carry out the pertinent investigation in coordination with the Indigenous authorities. To your family and colleagues, our solidarity."
The news of Trochez’s death came just hours after reports of the murders of two other social leaders, one in Altamira, Cauca, and the other in Vereda La Paz. Community Action Board leader and an active supporter of National Program of Substitution of Crops, Alejandro Jacanamejoy, was murdered Thursday night.
Police state the third victim, Jose Uriel Rodriguez, was a member of the Patriotic March and was reportedly killed Friday in the district of Altamira in Cauca. Both cases are currently under investigation.