Colombia's Bloody New President: 50 leaders killed

50 leaders were killed in first 90 days of Santos government

The party Polo Democrático Alternativo (PDA) reported on Wednesday (10th) that at least 50 political and social leaders have been murdered in Colombia during the first 90 days of the government of president Juan Manuel Santos, the successor of the ultra-rightist Alvaro Uribe. According to legend, the deaths are the result of the humanitarian crisis that lives in the South American nation.

The president of the PDA, Clara Lopez, said in a statement submitted to the National Executive Committee the victims are left-wing politicians, trade unionists, social leaders, peasants, indigenous and youth, as well as human rights advocates for the homosexual population and children. "This is a humanitarian crisis with verifiable numbers and cases occurring."

According to Clara Lopez, the PDA notes with concern that "the phenomenon of threats and murders," besides proposing doing a "detailed action" on the vulnerable population, lacks sufficient safeguards for the state to protect their lives." She clearly emphasized that Colombia "has been the victim of a plan of extermination" against the social sectors and vulnerable population, "without the dome of the government to react" to give "sufficient guarantees to life, property and the honour of the victims."

Last Friday, Elizabeth Silva Aguilar, president of the Association of Homeless and Refugees in Bucaramanga, northwest Colombia, was murdered by strangers who invaded her home in a neighborhood of this city, informed the PDA, which ensured that this murder was committed by "paramilitaries reportedly not mobilized." For the PDA, "it is a murder that adds more to the string of crime and intimidation against this community."

Representatives of refugee organizations reported that over the past six months, at least one hundred human rights leaders were murdered in Colombia. The war "is maintained on all of southern Colombia." According to a member of the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), Roseliano Riascos, "first threatening leaflets arrived and soon after the murders happened."

Riascos emphasized that "the new strategy against the leaders of the refugees are no longer massacres - and, yes, selective killings and expropriations." According to the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement, since 2002 there is a record number of murders of leaders of Colombian refugees in Colombia.

The Colombian NGO CODHES affirmed this Tuesday that 3.7 million people were victims of forced displacements, a consequence of armed conflict that has plagued Colombia for five decades, making it the nation with the largest number of refugees in the world.


Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova


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Author`s name Oksana Orlovskaya