Five People Killed in Yet Another Massacre of Civilians in Colombia, 16th This Year

Five people were killed and an equal number were wounded in a new massacre this Sunday in a recreation site between the municipalities of Abrego and Ocaña, North Santander department, Colombia, Prensa Latina reports.

The violent event occurred when armed men arrived at a billiards bar in the area and attacked the people who were there, confirmed the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz, in Spanish).

The organization in charge of investigating and disseminating information on the armed conflict reminded Colombian President Ivan Duque in a message on Twitter that this is the 16th massacre so far in 2021.

The victims were young people aged 20 and 21, which makes it clear that the current national administration cares little about youth, added the member of the Comunes party, formerly known as the Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common (Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Comun).

Previously, in February, five hooded men armed with long-range weapons killed at least five coffee pickers and wounded one man was in an armed attack in the Antioquia Department. They intimidated the victims, whose bodies show signs of torture, gunshots, and stab wounds, teleSur reports.

Antioquia is the department hardest hit by the wave of killings — the worst since a 2016 peace deal that ended decades of civil war and reduced levels of violence in a traumatized society. This year so far, there have been four such attacks in Antioquia — a third of the national total.

Last November, five coffee growers and three other people were killed in an overnight attack on a farm in the Antioquia town of Betania. The government blames groups that finance drug trafficking and illegal gold mining for the resurgence in killings.

In 2020, more than 90 massacres like this one were reported as well as about 250 social leaders were assassinated, without Duque taking any executive action to forwar peace-building, according to experts.

This crisis requires a policy that is not simply offering rewards and holding a security council because that does not solve the problem, Camilo Gonzalez, president of Indepaz, said in an interview with Caracol Radio.