Adriaan Alsema

Business owners in northwest Colombia are conspiring with death squads to assassinate social leaders and prevent the restitution of land that was stolen during Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict, according to several Colombian NGOs.

Ivan Duque has not even taken office and his government is already in crisis after the president-elect’s political patron, former president Alvaro Uribe, resigned from Congress.

Colombia’s authorities seem unable or uninterested in curbing the wholesale slaughter of the country’s social leaders that has occurred since a peace process came into force, with nine leaders being murdered in the last week of June alone.

The violence is threatening Colombia’s peace process that not only sought the demobilisation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but also the increased political inclusion of the left and minorities in general.

Colombia’s National Police have announced an internal investigation days after the country’s leftist presidential candidate was attacked on his way to a campaign rally on March 2.

A leader of the community that lost seven members in an alleged police massacre has been assassinated in southwest Colombia, the regional government said on October 17.

Jose Jair Cortes was the spokesperson of the Alta Mira y Frontera community in Tumaco, Narino state, where anti-narcotics officials allegedly murdered seven people on October 5.

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