A state of fear has paralyzed urban and rural areas between the departments of Antioquia and Chocó since a new illegal armed group distributed threatening pamphlets.
Flyers signed by the Gaitanista Self Defense Forces of Colombia announcing action against guerrilla groups have appeared of late in the region, known as Urabá, authorities told Caracol Radio.
Businesses are closed, banana plantation workers are staying home, transportation in municipalities across the region has stopped running, and elementary schools and high schools have suspended classes in face of the threats.
Caracol Radio reported Wednesday that authorities said no crimes had been reported in the area, but Thursday a community leader in the region was killed, according to a separate report by the radio station.
Hugo Alberto Hoyos who was under protection by the Interamerican Human Rights Commission was killed by a group of uniformed, armed men in a remote, jungle-heavy zone between Antioquia and Chocó, said authorities.
The government of Antioquia denounced the actions as the flyers as an effort by drug traffickers to redress their crimes as counter guerrilla efforts, according to a third Caracol Radio report.
The government secretary of Antioquia said it wasn’t that demobilized paramilitaries have rearmed, but that many band members never fully complied with the peace process.
Local mayor, Oswaldo Cuadrado Simanca of Apartadó, asked for intervention by the national government to improve the situation.
The Urabá police say they have detained two men in recent hours who they believe were part of the group responsible for distributing the flyers.