As many as 150 human rights defenders killed in Colombia in 2022
Among those most affected are members of Indigenous groups, community leaders, farmers, says ombud Carlos Camargo
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More than 150 rights defenders have been killed in Colombia through the first nine months of 2022, the Ombudsman's Office said Friday in a report.
The figure is higher than what was recorded during the same period in 2021.
Between January and September, 157 activists were murdered. A total of 109 cases were recorded during that time in 2021, according to ombud Carlos Camargo.
Among those killed in 2022 were 51 community leaders, 32 representatives of indigenous groups and 14 farmers.
"I appeal once again to the illegal armed groups to respect the life and integrity of leaders and human rights defenders. They play a fundamental role in guaranteeing the rights of communities and strengthening democracy in the regions," Camargo said while presenting the report.
Violence in some parts of Colombia has increased despite a 2016 peace deal between the government and the FARC rebel group.
At least 10 armed groups in Colombia, including members of the FARC rebels who rejected the peace deal and the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN), are still involved in criminal acts, making Colombia one of the most dangerous countries for activists and human rights defenders.
In a Global Witness 2021 report, Colombia stood out as the second most dangerous country for environmentalists.
New President Gustavo Petro has started negotiating the disarmament of all rebel groups to achieve what he has called a “total peace.”
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