While during the armed conflict with the FARC Colombia’s impunity rate reached almost 99%, the country’s prosecution said it has solved more than half of the homicides on rights leaders reported by the United Nations.
“Of the 87 crimes reported by the international organization” that is monitoring the peace process “there is significant progress in 45 of these investigations,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a press release.
According to the prosecution, its investigations has led to five sentences while another 31 are in court.
In total, 101 suspects have been charged and another 71 are in jail.
The prosecution claims were not confirmed by the UN.
Human rights, social and leftist leaders have long been the target of paramilitary groups supposedly demobilized under former President Alvaro Uribe between 2003 and 2006.
Following a ceasefire with the FARC in September last year, this phenomenon appeared to become more common as illegal armed groups and dissident FARC members vied for control over abandoned FARC territory.
Other leaders were killed in what could be spoiler attacks, aimed at disrupting the ongoing peace process with the Marxist rebels.
The assassinations spurred warnings by both the UN and the European Union that called for increased protection of community leaders.
The latest arrests were reported on Wednesday in Tumaco, a port city in southwest Colombia were FARC dissidents, paramilitary groups, drug traffickers and guerrilla group ELN have been vying for control over abandoned FARC criminal rackets.
Since peace was signed with the country’s oldest and largest rebel group in November last year, the killing of rights leaders has slowly decreased.
Nevertheless, news website Pacifista, which has been monitoring the killing of social leaders, reported two new assassinations over the weekend, one of a union leader and one of a leader of a recent civic strike in Colombia’s western Choco province.
Since the peace deal, a total of 39 social leaders have been assassinated.