The body of social leader and teacher Berver Victor Velásquez was found in the waters of the Cauca River, on January 28, 2018. He had been reported missing a week earlier by relatives, who explained that he left home on an errand to buy pet food, but never returned. Berver promoted cultural rights in the region and also worked as a dance teacher in the town of Cáceres.
The cause of death has not yet been released by the coroner’s office. However, the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia (OIA in Spanish) spoke about the increase in murders of social leaders in the Lower Cauca. “It is troubling that the bodies of leaders have been appearing recently; this worries us a great deal,” said Richard Sierra, OIA’s Director of Political Relations and Own Justice.
Based on original reports by Caracol and Girardot