Eight young people at a social gathering were killed in Colombia’s southern Nariño department when unknown gunmen barged in and opened fire Aug. 15. The victims, between the ages of 17 and 25, were university students who had returned to the village of Samaniego due to the pandemic. They were enjoying a small party at a family farm on the edge of the village when the attack took place. One woman and one minor were among the dead. Nariño Gov. Jhon Rojas said the massacre was probably related to a struggle for control of narcotrafficking networks in the region. He did not name any group as responsible for the attack, but noted the presence in the area of ELN guerillas, “dissident” FARC factions that have remained in arms despite the peace accord, and the Clan del Golfo drug cartel.
Just days earlier, on Aug. 11, two students, aged 15 and 17, were slain by unknown gunmen while walking to class in the Nariño village of Leyva.
The governor called on national authorities to “return tranquility to the region” by fulfilling terms of the 2016 peace accords, which President Ivan Duque has opposed. “After the signing of the peace accords, there was tranquility in Nariño,” Rojas said. “Three years have passed, and the armed conflict is beginning to flare up again. The civil population is caught in the cross-fire.” (El Tiempo, Aug. 19; RNC, El Espectador, Aug. 18; Caracol Radio, Colombia Reports, Aug. 16; El Tiempo, Aug. 11)
Photo: Colombia Reports