A Colombian land restitution activist was assassinated on Tuesday in the northern Cordoba department.
Ever Antonio Cordero, a land restitution activist working with Fundacion Forjando Futuros in the municipality of Valencia, Cordoba was killed today at 6:30AM by two armed assassins on a motorcycle reported local media.
Spokesman for Fundacion Forjando Futuros, Gerardo Vega, told Colombia Reports that Cordero was killed while on his way to meet with land restitution claimants. “That we know of, he didn’t have any death threats,” said the spokesman.
“For us it is clear that the most probable [perpetrator of the crime] is among those who oppose the land restitution, those that come doing this type of assassination to stop the people continuing to reclaim [territory].” said Vega.
The spokesman added, “The majority of us have had threats and we have protection programs … Many have had to flee or ask for protection from the state to be able to continue [working].”
“We realize that the government has advanced the individual protection but fails to provide investigation results that [punish] the people who order these assassinations … The government has to dismantle criminal organizations that continue to assassinate those who wish to reclaim land,” said Vega.
President Juan Manuel Santos took to Twitter to condemn the assassination.
“We condemn the murder of the president of the board of victims participation in Valencia, Cordoba. It will be investigated until they find the assassins.”
Condenamos el asesinato del presidente de la mesa de participación de víctimas en Valencia, Córdoba. Se investigara hasta dar con asesinos.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) April 9, 2013
The body of another land restitution activist from Valencia, Hermes Vidal Osorio, was found March 27. His death is suspected to be linked to his work.
- Interview Gerardo Vega
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- Familias de Santa Paula identifican sus parceles (El Heraldo)
- Confirman asesinato de Hermes Vidal, reclamante de tierras en Córdoba (Prensa Rural)
- President Juan Manual Santos (Twitter)
- Asesinan a lider de los desplazados del alto Sinu (El Heraldo)