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Armed Group Kills 3 Colombians In Putumayo Department

The first victim was identified as Efren Ramos, prosecutor of the El Basal’s Communal Action Board. The identity of the other citizens remains unknown.

The Colombian Institute for Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ) denounced that armed men tortured, murdered, and burned the bodies of three people in the El Basal neighborhood in the Putumayo department on Wednesday.

The first victim was identified as Efren Ramos, prosecutor of the El Basal’s Communal Action Board (JAC). The identity of the other two victims remains unknown because the fire completely burned their faces.

In the Putumayo department, paramilitary groups Second Marquetalia, Border Commandos, and the Sinaloa Cartel operate along with the ‘Carolina Ramirez’ First Front, which is an armed group that did not join the 2016 Peace accord signed between the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

INDEPAZ condemned that these groups frequently extort the population to gain new territories for their drug trafficking and illegal mining activities, which they develop with the State impunity since President Ivan Duque has not done much to prevent them.

On Jan. 26, local authorities reiterated the need for accompaniment from the Defense Ministry to fight these crimes. Yuri Quintero, the political coordinator of Putumayo’s Human Rights Network, considered that such a situation cannot be counteracted by militarization alone.

“Our law enforcement agencies have a negative concept of security. So they won’t be able to stop these armed groups’ violence, which is systemic,” he stated and urged the intervention of international agencies to solve the conflict.

On Jan. 17, the El Paraiso neighborhood’s Communal Action Board President Wilson Cortez was also murdered in the Putumayo department. This crime caused about 14 people to flee to the Caqueta department for fear of being killed.

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