Colombia: unrelenting terror against social leaders

Despite advances for the peace process with the FARC rebels, the wave of assassinations of social leaders across Colombia by presumed paramilitary hitmen remains unabated. On Dec. 12, a team of two hitmen mounted on a motorcycle gunned down Guillermo Veldaño, president Communal Action Junta in the vereda (hamlet) of Buenos Aires, Puerto Asís municipality, Putumayo department. Veldaño was a local leader of the leftist Marcha Patriótica movement, which has been especially targeted for terror. (El Espectador, Dec. 12) That same day, campesino leader Eder Magones was slain when the moto-taxi he was riding in was ambushed by sicarios in Tiquisio, Bolívar department. (El Espectador, Dec. 12) 

Violent conflict between rival gangs for control of the narco-traffic also continues to claim lives. On the night of Dec. 13, two were killed and 23 injured when  an assailant on a motor-bike threw a grenade into a crowded nightclub in Pacific narco-export hub of Tumaco, Nariño department. Tumaco hs seen 132 homicides so far this year—actually 27 less than by this same period last year, but still a "worrying figure." (El Tiempo, Dec. 14)