The 16 black minority leaders who survived an assassination attempt in southwest Colombia on Saturday on Monday received threats claiming “this is just the beginning of your extermination.”
According to Victor Hugo Moreno, one of the survivors of the attack that injured two bodyguards, told weekly Semana that he and other ethnic minority leaders from the troubled Cauca received new threats on Monday.
Moreno received a message on his phone threatening him and other participants in recent indigenous protests in Cauca will be “exterminated.”
Saturday was just the beginning of what will be the extermination of all of you. The time has come for all members of your organization… and all those who shut down the humanitarian route during the so-called ‘minga,’ n*****s.
Anonymous death threat
Francia Marquez, a renowned environmental activist, confirmed the death threat. She said the message to Moreno came after she took to national radio to talk about the assassination attempt in Santander de Quilichao.
It cannot continue to happen that those of us who are defending the environment, life and peace in the country are the ones who must continue to assume this burden of so many injustices.
While the governor of the Cauca province said he suspected rearmed FARC guerrillas to be behind Saturday’s attack, Marquez said that she believed that either the Aguilas Negras, a far-right group, or organized crime group “Los Rastrojos” were behind the attack.
The social leader said she believed their opposition to the government’s alleged surrender of land belonging to small farmers to multinationals is the motive of the violence that has killed dozens of ethnic minority and peasant leaders in Cauca.
The outburst of violence targeting the leaders was only the latest in a wave of violence that has killed at least 462 leaders throughout Colombia in the past three years, according to the ombudsman.
A leading think tank on human rights, Somos Defensores, said last month that 155 social leaders were assassinated 805 acts of aggression registered in 2018 alone.