A social leader and two peasant workers from a sugar mill were murdered in two events that occurred in the Colombian departments of Cauca (southwest) and Norte de Santander, on the border with Venezuela.
The Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia of the Organization of American States (MAPP/OEA), said Monday on social networks that José Antonio Pérez was assassinated in a rural area of Tibú (Norte de Santander).
“We stand in solidarity with his family and reiterate the call to the State to provide urgent security guarantees to the country’s leaders,” the agency said, recalling that Pérez was the president of the Community Action Board of the Socuavo hamlet.
On the other hand, the Incauca mill said today that several workers who were at the Ukrania farm, located in the town of Corinto, were attacked “by invaders with firearms.”
“As a result of this event, two workers were killed, two injured and one kidnapped,” the company detailed in a statement in which it also recalled that this event “is the most serious of a series of attacks against the integrity of the workers, added to other attacks such as burning crops, destruction of machinery and facilities of different properties that have been invaded”.
The company rejected the attacks against private property that have been taking place since December 2014, and that have worsened in their violence until “leading to today’s tragedy.”
Likewise, it demanded the immediate release of the “kidnapped worker” and respect for his life and personal integrity.
At the end of September 2022, the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office warned of the increase in cases of illegal occupation of land in various regions of the country, and said that it had detected 108 cases to date.
The illegal occupation of land is frequent in the departments of Antioquia, Atlántico, Cauca, Cesar, Chocó, Guainía, Huila, Magdalena, Valle del Cauca and Vichada.
However, the Ombudsman specified at that time that the highest incidence in the number of land invasions was registered in the department of Cauca, where 36% of the cases occur.
In Cauca and its neighbor Valle del Cauca, indigenous, black, and peasant communities claim the lands that are in the hands of hacendados or sugar mills, alleging that they historically belong to them.