The Colombian Ombudsman’s Office has recorded a total of 215 homicides of social leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia during the year 2022, which represents a notable increase compared to the 145 of the previous year.
This is the year with the highest number of homicides since 2016, when the systematic registration of these attacks was launched through the Early Warning System. Since that date, a total of 1,113 social leaders have been assassinated: 133 in 2016, 126 in 2017, 178 in 2018, 138 in 2020 and 145 in 2021, according to official data.
The murders in 2022 were concentrated in Nariño (35 cases), Cauca (26), Antioquia (22), Putumayo (22), Valle del Cauca (12), Bolívar (11), Norte de Santander (9) and Chocó and Tolima with 7 cases each.
These regions are the ones with the greatest presence of armed groups, therefore, according to the Ombudsman, Carlos Camargo, there will be progress when Total Peace is achieved.
“It would be expected that the dialogues with the ELN and the bilateral cessation with other illegal armed groups would also mean a reduction in actions against social leaders and human rights defenders throughout the national territory and put an end to this situation,” he pointed out. Camargo in statements to the station Caracol Radio.
Based on the victims’ attributes, the most affected are community leaders (63 murders), indigenous leaders (47), community leaders (36), peasants or agrarian leaders (18), Afro-descendants (12), trade unionists (8), rights activists Human (7), cultural or sports (5), population leaders with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity (4) and public servants (3).