The sign reads "Not one more killed". Photo: Semana
Two peasant leaders were assassinated by unidentified armed men on Sunday February 16 in the Miranda municipality of the southern department of Cauca in Colombia. The Association of Indigenous Cabildos of Northern Cauca (ACIN) confirmed that the victims were brothers Albeiro Silva Mosquera and Hugo Silva Mosquera, who were human rights defenders and members of the Peasant Guard in the region.
Albeiro and Hugo were gravely injured in the attack, and both died by the time they reached the hospital. Another member of the Peasant Guard was also injured.
With these latest attacks, the number of assassinated Colombian leaders in just the month and a half of 2020 has climbed to 50 in addition to the 10 ex-combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who have been assassinated.
Deivin Hurtado, a representative of the National Unitary Agricultural Federation condemned the attack, stating that it is “not only a family (that) is in mourning, it is a whole community that cries over the departure of people who actively participated in the protection and welfare of their territory,” reported TeleSur.
The attack was denounced widely by Indigenous, human rights and peasant organizations who have raised concerns about the increasing violence in the area, pointing out that it happened within a day of the murder of another major indigenous leader close by.
According to several human rights organizations and research institutes, since the Colombian government and the FARC signed the peace deal in November 2016, over 700 social and political leaders have been killed in different incidences of political violence.