The murder of a cattle rancher and the appearance of leaflets threatening extortion, have left farmers in north west Colombia fearing for their lives, reported El Tiempo on Thursday.
According to the newspaper, on Wednesday the body of Joaquin Eduardo Ghisays was discovered near his farm in the municipality of San Carlos, just 45km from Cordoba‘s capital.
Ghisays had several gun shot wounds that were a result of his refusal to be kidnapped, reported El Tiempo.
The Commander of Police in Cordoba, Colonel Javier Martin Gamaz, informed local media that one arrest had been made in connection to this case, that of a farm manager who reported the location of the body to authorities.
In addition to this act, farmers in the area have been subject to extortion.
In the municipality of Ayapal, cattle ranchers and tourists have received leaflets, reportedly from BACRIM’s – drug trafficking organisations formed from demobilised paramilitary groups, demanding “a monthly contribution” of between approximately $160 and $265 dollars.
According to El Tiempo, the BACRIM claim that such a demand is justified, given the protection they offer local inhabitants.
Farmers in the area have not released an official statement, although the newspaper insist there is widespread fear amongst them.