Four More Young People Killed at Colombia’s Sixth Massacre in 2021

Early Sunday, four young people were assassinated and three injured at a farm in Cerro Chico, Buga municipality, Valle del Cauca department, in the sixth massacre this year in Colombia, Prensa Latina reports.

According to local authorities, the victims (18 and 20 years of age) were having fun at the site when armed men suddenly showed up and fired at point-blanck range.

On Twitter, Senator Sandra Ramirez condemned the incident, describing Colombia´s security situation as worrisome and asked where President Ivan Duque is.

The Institute for Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ), on the other hand, said it is the sixth massacre in the 2021, in addition to the killing of 14 social leaders and five signatories of the Agreement between the State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army.

The last massacre was committed on Tuesday 19, as an armed group killed three people and one was injured in the Palmas Altas sector of the Bajo Cauca municipality, Antioquia department.

Conflict experts fear that 2021 could become a grim year for Colombia, where political campaigning will begin after a terrifying surge in massacres and assassinations.

Last year saw the highest number of assassinated human rights defenders and community leaders since 2011 and the persistent killing of FARC members who demobilized in 2017, according to conflict monitor Indepaz.

This violence was already threatening a peace process that followed the 2016 peace deal between the FARC and former President Juan Manuel Santos before the country was shocked by a wave of massacres not seen in years.

The coming year could be worse as the government of President Ivan Duque persistently denies reality and 2021 will be decisive for the 2022 elections. Looking at of the prospects for 2021, it is believed that little will change and the situation will become gloomier.

Colombia ended the year 2020 with 91massacres. According to the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz), in 2020 there were 91 massacres in Colombia with 383 victims, in addition to 310 social leaders and 64 ex-combatants murdered.

Seven people were killed and one person was injured in the Colombian city of Buenaventura, the Valle del Cauca department, on the night of the 30th/morning of the 31st of December, in the 91st massacre of the year 2020.

According to authorities, this was a case of settling of accounts by criminal gangs that are disputing the territory. The mayor of Buenaventura, Mauricio Aguirre Obando, stated that the crime took place in different neighborhoods of the city. Video circulating on social media purports to show men riding on motorcycles armed with rifles while intimidating the community.

Authorities assure that investigations will be carried out to locate those responsible for the murders.

Indepaz, which has been the main reference since the signing of the Peace Accords in 2016, now begins new counts for 2021, as at least one former FARC combatant and one social leader have already been killed on New Years Day.

Peace Accords signatory Yolanda Zabala Mazo was recorded as the first ex-guerrilla to be killed in 2021 while Gerardo Leon is the first social leader and human rights defender to be assassinated in the new year.

With the closing of 2020, Indepaz reports 1,107 social leaders and human rights defenders killed since the Peace Accords and 250 former combatants. The Institute also records killings by Colombian security forces, for which it reports a total of 78 victims in 2020.