Álvaro Paul Gómez Garzón

In a statement, the Human Rights Network of the Colombian National Southwest reported the assassination of the communal leader Álvaro Paul Gómez Garzón who was extrajudicially executed by members of the army on November 11 at night when he was travelling in a vehicle along the inter-city route of San Alfonso-Balboa-Algeria.

Six members of the Infantry Battalion No. 56, General Francisco Javier González, located in a mobile control post stopped the vehicle to search the leader who was also part of the National Association of Peasant Reserve Areas (ANZORC) and the Social Coordination and Policy Unit of the Marcha Patriotica, Cauca.

According to the two witnesses of the event, Gómez Garzón returned to his vehicle and advanced a few meters before the same group of soldiers asked him to get out of the vehicle again. The social leader continued driving which caused the military to open fire, the blast of rifle hit the communal leader in the head, causing his death immediately, which prevented them from providing the necessary help.

Community leader, Erlery Balboa has stated that “the National Army wants to cover up its mistake” by arguing that they opened fire when they saw that Gómez did not stop his vehicle, despite having previously searched the social leader and verified that he did not carry firearms nor did he represent any threat. “The relevant investigations must be carried out because there are videos in which it is acknowledged that it was a military error,” he concluded.

If you would like to provide a personal recollection, please email us at: HRDMemorial@frontlinedefenders.org





Date of Killing:11/11/2018

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Red de Derechos Humanos del Suroccidente Colombiano Nacional

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

Sector Detail:Peasant Communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).