Alejandro Carvajal

At 3pm on 26 March, 2020, twenty year old Alejandro Carvajal was shot dead in the community of Santa Teresita in the municipality of Sardinata, Norte de Santander. According to the Asociación Campesina del Catatumbo, ASCAMSCAT the killing was carried out by members of the National Army.

The exact circumstances of the killing remain unclear as the area is very remote and at the time of writing no effective investigation had taken place.

According to ASCAMSCAT spokesperson Holman Pérez, Alejandro was in his own home when he was shot dead. In addition to his own role in ASCAMSCAT he was also the nephew of a very well known community leader. ASCAMSCAT had been warning for weeks of the danger to the community as a result of the army’s campaign to stamp out paramilitary activity in the area.

In a statement the army acknowledged that a civilian was killed during an army operation. That statement subsequently disappeared from the official records.

Peasant communities had been protesting against the movement of up to 700 soldiers into the area because of the risk of spreading Covid-19. They had blocked roads in protest.

Following discussions with the local authorities it was agreed that both the army and the communities would withdraw to their respective bases. While the communities had complied with the agreement the army had continued its operations regardless.

The only response of the army has been to send an additional 1,000 soldiers into the area.


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Department/Province/State:Norte de Santander



Date of Killing:26/03/2020

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Farmer

Organisation:Programa de sustitución de cultivos de uso ilícito, Junta de Acción Comunal de la vereda Santa Teresita, Asociación de Cañicultores Paneleros de Sardinata (ASOCAPASAR).

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Citizens' rights, Land Rights, Peasant Communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

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