The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Monday issued a statement strongly condemning the murder of Colombian indigenous leader and human rights activist Luis Alfredo Socarras Pimienta.
Socarras was killed on July 27 in Riohachacha, a city on the Caribbean coast. The murder was reportedly committed by a hit man, who shot him in the doorway of his house before fleeing.
The IACHR, an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), “urges the State of Colombia to investigate the crime committed against the indigenous leader Socarras Pimienta and to prosecute and punish those who perpetrated and planned the crime.”
It adds that “the IACHR also urges the State to attend to the needs for protection and security of those who defend the rights of the indigenous peoples of Colombia, to ensure that crimes such as this one do not happen again.”
Socarras was an activist for the rights of the indigenous Wayuu people. In the last year he led demonstrations protesting the situation of the indigenous group and demanding better living conditions.
The indigenous leader also ran in two elections for the position of mayor of the Manaure municipality as the candidate for the Polo Democratico Alternativo party.
A dentist by trade, he organised dental-care campaigns for communities in the Middle and Upper Guajira Peninsula.