Colombia: Paramilitaries Kill Land Rights Activist

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Above Photo: Hernan Bedoya, was killed by hired neo paramilitary members in a rural sector of the Choco Department in Colombia. | Photo: Twitter / Intercelestial Commission for Justice and Peace in Colombia

Hernan Bedoya was the second activist from the group, Communities Constructing Peace, Conpaz, to be killed in 10 days.

Another land rights activists, Hernan Bedoya, was killed by hired paramilitary members in a rural sector of the Choco Department in Colombia.

Bedoya was the second activist from the group, Communities Constructing Peace, Conpaz, to be killed in 10 days. The Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, AGC, took responsibility for shooting Bedoya 14 times as he was traveling home by horse.

The Colombian human rights groups, The People’s Defense and the Intercelestial Commission for Justice and Peace in Colombia, announced the killing on their twitter accounts and called for authorities to “quickly investigate” the killing.

The AGC continually threatened the Conpaz activist since 2015 for his work in trying to protect Conpaz members’ communal lands from the company, Association of Agroindustrial Campesinos, Agromar, an industrial African palm and banana producer and exporter.

In 2015, Agromar started to take over 41 percent of their 20,000 hectare collectively-held land. Bedoya and Conpaz said the land grab would destroy the area’s social ties and natural environment.

The activist was supposed to be protected by the United National Protection, the Colombian government entity to protect social activists, but had only been provided with a bullet proof vest and a cellular phone.

Another land rights activist, Luis Alfonso Giraldo, took place in the neighboring Putumayo department just days ago. Nearly 200 social leaders have been assassinated in Colombia since 2016 by paramilitary forces.

Agromar has close ties to the U.S.-based agricultural import company, Turbana Corp.