Colombia reported 215 human rights defenders killed in 2022

Human Rights Watch Colombia reported that 215 human rights advocates were killed last year, the highest death toll since a peace deal was signed with leftist rebels in 2016.

One of the latest victims of 2022 was José Ricorte Quintero, who founded the Mana Survivor Association. He was assassinated on a street in Armenia in December. His group has supported the families of people who disappeared during more than five decades of armed conflict in Colombia.

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Human rights watchdog Colombia reported that 215 human rights defenders were killed in 2022. This is the highest death rate in Colombia since 2016.

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The Ombudsman’s office says the killings coincide with locations of strategic importance to organized crime groups involved in drug trafficking, illegal mining and contraband.

The government of Gustavo Petro – the first leftist president of Colombia – in its policy of “complete peace” proposed starting peace talks with armed groups such as the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army and reaching out to defectors from the FARC who refused to sign the peace agreement, as well as the Gulf Clan Cartel, which it declared The government has a truce.

Ombudsman Carlos Camargo said he hoped such talks would lead to a reduction in the proceedings against leaders of human rights groups.

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