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Sat Mar 28, 2020, 02:33 AM

Killing Colombia's human rights defenders has never been this easy

by Adriaan Alsema March 27, 2020

. . .

Fearing that quarantine measures in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus could trigger an increase in assassinations, multiple international human rights and religious organizations asked the government of President Ivan Duque to step up protection measures on Wednesday.

With most people inside their homes, no witnesses on the street and police trying to enforce the quarantine, social leaders are feared to be more vulnerable than ever.

A new wave of killings
Less than 24 hours after the organizations sent the open letter, two indigenous leaders and one women’s rights defender were assassinated and one gay rights defender survived an assassination attack in Medellin, the country’s second largest city.

Since March 19, when governors and mayors decreed curfews and quarantine drills in their territories, six human rights defenders have been killed.


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