Aramis Arenas Bayona was a community leader who worked to promote local autonomy and to defend the rights of the peasant communities of the Serranía del Perijá. Aramis was also president of the Junta de Accion Comunal (Community Action Board) JAC, in vereda Canadá in the community of Estados Unidos in Becerril, Cesar.
In his role as president of the JAC Aramis had been working to develop the area as a tourist destination as opposed to a centre of coca production.
On the morning of 19 May, 2020, Aramis was shot dead as he left his home to visit his brother who lived nearby.
Aramis had been receiving threats since 2018 when he reported a robbery on his property. The resulting investigation resulted in the arrest of three members of an armed opposition group.
In the weeks prior to the killing armed opposition groups active in the area had distributed pamphlets threatening anyone who cooperated with the authorities.
In response the local communities have been trying to set up spaces for dialogue where local issues can be resolved. However, the armed opposition groups prefer to enforce their control from the barrel of a gun.