David de Jesus Goez Rodriguez, 70, who was considered a key witness in the legal proceedings regarding the return of lands taken by paramilitaries and guerrillas, was assassinated by two men who arrived at the mall on a black motorcycle.
Goez Rodriguez died at the crowded scene after being shot five times, while the two gunmen fled the area. Neither have yet been caught.
The leader, who was himself displaced after receiving death threats two years ago, helped with the documentation of several land claims, as well as being one of the founders of the Land and Life Association, an NGO created in 2009.
Juan Camilo Restrepo, the Minister of Agriculture, was in Medellin at the time and reiterated the government’s desire “to do everything possible so that the nearly 500,000 families whose lands were seized through blood and fire can now recover them.”
He lamented the latest death of a distinguished land restitution activist and called for a thorough investigation to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.
Since Santos assumed power in August 2010, there have been a further eight assassinations of various displaced leaders, reports Spanish news source ADN.