A womens rights activist, her five-year-old grandson and his parents were gunned down in their central Medellín home Wednesday night.
Olga Marina Vergara, 55-year-old member of the Medellín branch of the national NGO Pacifist Path of Women, was killed along with her son, Wílmar Alejandro Agudelo, 28; his wife, Yudy Andrea Álvarez, 22, and their young son, according to numerous reports.
El Tiempo reported Friday that city police believe the killings were a reprisal for the sale of homemade alcohol by someone in the house, noting that last July authorities found 50 cases of illegally produced liquor in the house, commander of the metropolitan police, General Dagoberto García, told the newspaper.
“It could be a settling of accounts or a personal vendetta by this situation,” García said, noting that the police did not find the door forced open, suggesting that the killers were known to someone in the house.
“These murders and this massacre are unacceptable,” started a long quote from Marina Gallego Zapata, national coordinator of the NGO. It continue: we “categorically reject these occurrances, that show once more the degradation of the war and the society, because the conditions and the circumstances in which they occured are of the utmost gravity. So it is we insist the authorities investigate and determine the motives of what happened,” she continued.
Pacifist Path of Women, started in 1996, is a “feminist political proposal of national character that worked for a negotiated handling of the armed conflict in Colombia and for the visibility of the effects of the war on women’s lives,” according to the organization’s profile on its blog. The blog has not been updated since October 2007.
The organization’s website, which currently shows an undated announcement that it is “in process of redesign”, lists as sponsors Oxfam, the Swiss organization for peace in Colombia, SUIPPCOL and international development NGO Cooperacció, whose website indicates their Colombian counterpart, CECOIN, was accused by El Tiempo of links to assassinated FARC leader ‘Raúl Reyes’.
Police rejected the possibility that the crime was linked to Vergara’s NGO work.
“We do not believe that it had something to do with that link. We are thinking of a retaliation or settling of scores. Including, the killed young man had a business selling motorcycles,” Garcia told El Tiempo.
An investigator told the newspaper that two cases of homemade alcohol were found in a car in the residence.
Twenty million pesos, or approximately $10,000 dollars, has been offered for information leading to the apprehension of the material and intellectual authors of the multiple murder.